Links 8/12/17

Car plunges seven storeys off US parking garage BBC

I think I know where babies come from, therefore I am human Aeon (Chuck L)

Superintelligence: The Idea That Eats Smart People IdleWords

2016 confirmed as planet’s hottest year Politico (resilc)

We can stop hacking and trolls, but it would ruin the internet New Scientist. Important.

North Korea

North Korea’s “not quite” ICBM can’t hit the lower 48 states Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (JTM)

The Madman With Nuclear Weapons is Donald Trump, Not Kim Jong-un Intercept (Sid S)

Trump speaks with Guam governor amid North Korea threat The Hill

Why There’s No Reason to Worry About War With North Korea Counterpunch (EM)

European Union criticizes US nuclear war threats against North Korea WSWS

Merkel says she sees no military solution to the North Korea Bloomberg

Every US President Makes Unilateral Nuclear Threats. It’s an American Tradition Black Agenda Report (resilc)

Pablo Picasso’s Massacre in Korea Wikipedia (Sid S)

Hillary Clinton: Donald Trump Is Too Friendly With North Korea Newsweek. UserFriendly: “This aged well.”

Portugal recovers by ignoring neoliberal priesthood’s recipe of absolute disaster failed evolution. There were also huge protests in Lisbon in the wake of the crisis that were curiously not reported in the English language media. Wonder if that had anything to do with Portugal’s economic policy choices.

Trump says he’s considering military response to Venezuela Associated Press (UserFriendly)

On Marcel Ophuls’ The Memory of Justice Corey Robin (martha r)

New Cold War

CIA Director says WikiLeaks is a ‘hostile intelligence service’ McClatchy (Altandmain)

Top diplomat warns military force will not solve Donbass problems TASS

The Nation Article About the DNC Hack Is Too Incoherent to Even Debunk New York Magazine. Lambert: “Really awful. They couldn’t risk Chait on this either.”

Syraqistan

Does it really matter if Netanyahu ends up behind bars? Aljazeera (micael)

We Have Been at War in Iraq for 27 Years Truthout

Imperial Collapse Watch

The Terrorism of Moral Indignation Counterpunch

U.S. power increasingly seen as threat to countries Pew (UserFriendly)

Things are bad, and David Frum makes them worse The Outline (UserFriendly)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Is Alexa spying on us? We’re too busy to care — and we might regret that McClatchy (Altandmain)

Ai Weiwei Transforms the Park Avenue Armory Into a High-Tech Surveillance State (and It’s Fun!) Artnet News. Chuck L: “Daughter Anne is visiting from NYC and told me about this exhibit she saw not long ago. From her description I suspect NC readers there would like to see it.” Moi: “I’d worry that if I went, the exhibition would be gathering info on me. There are facial ID obscuring tricks, but would I also need to get contacts that cover my iris?

Trump Transition

Bring Me the Head of Jeff Bezos Unz Review. This is awesome.

Trump Hands McConnell a Daunting To-Do List to Regain His Favor Bloomberg (resilc)

Trump’s base cheers attacks on McConnell The Hill

Fewer immigrants are being deported under Trump than under Obama Vox (RR). Not due to a lack of effort.

Manchin eyed as potential pick for Energy secretary: report The Hill (UserFriendly)

The Clintons, Trump and White Backlash Counterpunch

Partisan Shifts in Views of the Nation, but Overall Opinions Remain Negative Pew (UserFriendly)

Democrats in Disarray

Inside the fight that could derail the Democratic Party CNN (UserFriendly). When the Democrats use the word “incorporate,” their model is what happens to a rabbit after an anaconda swallows it.

The Democratic Party Has a Great Opportunity In 2018. It Might Still Blow It. Daily Beast (UserFriendly)

Farmer vs. farmer Arkansas Times. OMG you must read it. Monsanto kills but not in they way you expected.

Fake News

Facebook establishes new censorship centre in Germany WSWS (micael)

Uber. In case our post today isn’t enough to satisfy your prurient interest, more accounts.

Exclusive: Uber shareholder group wants Benchmark off board Axios. Axios broke the two key stories.

Uber Investor Group Calls for Benchmark Capital to Leave Board, Divest Shares Wall Street Journal

Uber investors go to war over Kalanick lawsuit Financial Times

Benchmark’s Uber Suit Signals End of Era for Imperious Founders Bloomberg. Weirdly no separate story on the escalation of the fight, but it’s incorporated in this commentary.

Google’s Gender Bender. I really wish this story were over. It’s bringing out the worst in too many people. So you are getting only the big stuff.

Why I Was Fired by Google Wall Street Journal

We’ve studied gender and STEM for 25 years. The science doesn’t support the Google memo. Recode

A Battle Over Goldman’s Hunger Bonds Is Being Waged in Florida Bloomberg (resilc)

GM Tests Fleet of 46 Robocar Taxis in SF: Driverless Car Timeline Promises by Manufacturer Michael Shedlock. EM:

Post closes with a list of promised timelines made by the various automakers, topped by Ford’s pie-in-the-sky ‘Truly self-driving vehicles by 2021’. Mish comments, apparently with a straight face, ‘Other than Tesla, which likes to overpromise and under-deliver, the timeline promises are very realistic.’ Now how could he possibly know that, given that no one has ever even come close to the Holy Grail of truly driverless, much less in a realistic urban setting? Another howler: ‘Regulation is the only missing ingredient. I expect that will be worked out in the next 2-3 years’. Easy as pie, if one is a deluded techno-fetishizing libertarian. Let’s recall Mish also went completely gaga over the ‘disruptive inevitability’ of bitcoin and blockchain a few years back, then went oddly silent on that subject and now makes only occasional posts on the subject which are rather more sober takes such as one a few days ago likening Bitcoin to historic quasi-currency fads such as beaver pelts (which at least could be put to practical use in the cold climates of the fur trade). Curiously, I still use no cryptocurrency or blockchain-foo, and no one I know does either – and I live in Silicon Valley – except as a speculative gambling-in-the-markets vehicle.

Guillotine Watch

Partner at private equity firm denies being jogger who pushed woman into bus Guardian (DO). If this story is new to you, please watch the video. Unbelievable. The perp really did change his path to knock the woman over.

The Death and Life of Helicopter Commuting Bloomberg

Class Warfare

Rural America’s Childbirth Crisis: The Fight to Save Whitney Brown Wall Street Journal. Key para:

The rate at which women died of pregnancy-related complications was 64% higher in rural areas than in large U.S. cities in 2015. That is a switch from 2000, when the rate in the cities was higher, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data analyzed by The Wall Street Journal.

US justice is built to humiliate and oppress black men. It starts with the chokehold… Guardian (resilc)

More Americans would rather not work than take jobs for the stingy wages employers are paying. Slate (resilc)

Antidote du jour (Kittie Wilson via Lawerence R):

This is really sweet. Richard Smith is showing he isn’t into only anti-Antidotes:

More cat empathy, from furzy. This is The Awesome. Cat watches Psycho.

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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244 comments

  1. Foppe

    White nationalist rally at University of Virginia

    Hundreds of US white nationalists have rallied at the University of Virginia, protesting against plans to remove a statue of a confederate general.

    The group waved torches and chanted “Jews will not replace us” and “white lives matter” as they marched through the Charlottesville university.

    There were clashes with counter-protesters, while the local mayor condemned the march as racist.

    A larger “Unite the Right” rally is planned in the city on Saturday.

    The protesters are angered at the planned removal of a statue of General Robert E Lee from Charlottesville. Lee commanded forces of the pro-slavery Confederacy in the US Civil War.

    Reply
    1. Corbin Dallas

      Thank you for this. I’ve been following this around the web and on twitter. UVA president said some mealymouth garbage about being ‘saddened’ and of course the police force helped and abetted these terrorists, then, once they left, arrested the counter-protestors for unlawful trespassing.

      With the MSM colluding on ‘both sides have grievances’ and the whole bevy of Sessions-style KKK organizers in the office as the economic ramifications of the tramppy regime are gonna come to bear, we are descending into a hell here. Makes me rage.

      I’ll leave this here:

      http://i.imgur.com/vlTRmW0.jpg

      Reply
      1. Corbin Dallas

        Sorry to self-reply, but wanted to post some links for people interested:

        Video of “one nation” and “blood and soil”:

        https://twitter.com/aletweetsnews/status/896189794778218496

        “white lives matter” and “Jews will not replace us”:

        https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/fights-in-advance-of-saturday-protest-in-charlottesville/2017/08/12/155fb636-7f13-11e7-83c7-5bd5460f0d7e_story.html

        And an antidote, the US army detonating a massive swastika at Nuremberg in 1945:

        https://twitter.com/fordm/status/896215039799164928

        Reply
            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              The reaction to the removal is almost predictable, so predictable it can be used to distract many times.

              I mean, it became the first comment of the day.

              Reply
              1. Foppe

                It became the first comment of the day purely because I live in gmt+1. :) But yeah, it’s very convenient to push this story for both sides of the partisan coin.

                Reply
        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          It seems chaotic, as if we are amidst chaos.

          That’s what we do to other countries.

          Are some people doing it to us as well? Creating something out of nothing?

          For ‘something,’ we more urgently need to go after images of neoliberal heroes.

          Reply
          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Is it possible that Putin is behind this?

            “Aha, the Americans are going at each other again.”

            Reply
    2. Jim Haygood

      Charlottesville is considered a liberal college town – and 86% of the county voted for Hillary Clinton in last year’s presidential elections. The city council voted to remove a statue of General Lee.

      Seems like this attempt to erase history didn’t go over as smoothly as the historical revisionists assumed. What’s next, rebadge the Lee barracks at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York (General Lee’s alma mater)? Likely that wouldn’t go over well with the cadets.

      As with the tangled history of North and South Korea and China and Taiwan, the two sides of the U.S. Civil War were culturally entwined despite their political differences. Attempts to retroactively delegitimize one of them will produce unintended consequences, such as the deeply unpleasant scene of white nationalists marching through the streets.

      It wasn’t necessary for the Hillary-oriented Charlottesville city council to poke this particular hornet’s nest by labeling General Lee’s statue “beyond deplorable” and therefore subject to erasure. Ol’ William Faulkner, who used to go on and on in his novels about the prestige of University of Virginia in the South (he considered it a great place to learn to drink like a gentleman) isn’t bloody amused.

      The past is never dead. … Actually, it’s not even past.” — WCF

      Reply
      1. Expat

        The American Civil War (or the War Between the States, if you prefer) was caused by the South’s secession. The South left the Union in order to preserve and protect the institution of slavery. Yes, this was a state’s rights issue, the right of a state to hold a human being in slavery and sell him, his wife and his children. There was no noble Southern cause, no defense of dignity from northern aggression. It was then, and is now, about racism.

        Southern whites marching to protect a statue of General Lee is akin to Christian New Yorkers marching to demand the right to erect a statue of Albert Speer in Times Square. Lee fought for slavery. He might be a war hero, but we don’t honor someone simply because he fought well. We honor them because they fought well for a noble cause.

        We don’t want to rewrite history. The Civil War happened. But we refuse to honor the sick, racist general who fought to preserve and maintain slavery.

        America has been a democracy for only about forty years. It is barely that amount of time that blacks in the South are truly free. If you wish to return to 1960 or 1860, you are welcome to move to Mauritania or Saudi Arabia where slavery is alive and well.

        Reply
        1. justanotherprogressive

          Yes, let’s wipe out all traces of the Civil War – it will be easier to forget that it ever happened. Removing a statue that has been there for years is not the same as erecting a new statue of someone, say like Albert Speer, is it? We can see what ISIS is doing in the Middle East with historical artifacts in their attempt to remove the past – is that what you want here?

          I’m not saying to commemorate the Confederate Flag and I wouldn’t mind if I never saw another one again, but I think that we should leave those statues and artifacts from the Civil War in place, if only to remind us how our use of human beings for our own gains almost destroyed us as a country….

          Reply
          1. Moocao

            And yet these statues’ existence is not for the reminder of the horror of the Civil War, but the revisionist romanticization of the generals and the ‘chivalry’ of Robert E Lee and Stonewall Jackson vs the Big Bad Union.

            Make no mistake, there is no revisionism in the removal of these statues. They should never have been built in the first place. We can always move these statues to some museum of civil war, but let us not forget that the KKK, the guerilla resistance during the Reconstruction, used these statues as gathering places to plan their terror, and initiated the Jim Crow era under the umbrella of these so called ‘heroes of states rights’.

            These statues represent something more than just an expression of the Civil War. It also represents the resistance against the abolishment of slavery and birthed the intitutionalization of Jim Crow laws in the South. It’s removal is an expression in it of itself, one I wholly support: all men are equal, and champions of inequality WILL be damned in the annals of history.

            Reply
            1. justanotherprogressive

              Those people who believe in the War of Northern Aggression don’t need statues to remind them – a plain white sheet seems to be enough……

              And unfortunately, even if you get rid of every historical statue of those times, it won’t change their minds or make any less of them……but it will erase what their beliefs did to this country. Is that what you want?

              There are just as many people who look at those statues and wonder how 185 plantation owners could have wreaked such destruction on this country as there are people who “rever” those statues……

              Reply
              1. Moocao

                The War of Northern Aggression can very well called The War of Southern Treason. Lincoln has passed no laws against slavery at his inauguration, and was unlikely to even write the Emancipation Proclamation if not for the Civil War. Lincoln’s win would only have brought a halt of new slave states being admitted to the Union, he was in no mood to abolish slavery at the beginning of his administration. The Civil War started despite Lincoln’s plea to keep the Union. He was even about to give the South it’s wish, to keep Slavery in the South.

                Treason for an unjust cause should be erased from memory, especially since the South LOST. If the South seceded from the Union for a noble cause, we can debate whether these gentlemen deserve their statues. The South fought for the continuation of mankind under the yoke of slavery, nothing more. Tear these statues down. Preserve them if you wish, but they deserve to be in a museum at best, not in a public memorial area.

                Reply
              2. Matt

                Russia and Eastern European countries have handled this problem rather well. Instead of destroying controversial statues, they are moved to public parks. Budapest has one, Moscow does too, and I think there’s one in one of the Baltic states.

                Reply
                1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                  The usual rule of justice is this: you did once, OK, but don’t do it again.

                  You erected a hero.

                  OK.

                  Just don’t do it again.

                  Reply
                2. NotTimothyGeithner

                  One, the statue is in a public park, and many of the statues of the “Confederacy” come from the end of Reconstruction and turn of the 20th century when Jim Crow was being institutionalized and a myth was being concocted to combat various social movements and opposition to Jim Crow.

                  Its not like the Russian Federation has a restored monarchy (despite the claims of the DNC), and so Lenin statues aren’t really the same of a statue to a traitor who revolted over not liking the outcome of a Presidential election. Lenin might not be one’s favorite guy, but he’s not a traitor. That big house at Arlington National was Lee’s*. He was offered the job of heading up the Union Army. He was not a representative of an oppressed movement/people. The whole “Glorious Cause” b.s. was cooked up decades later as a way of putting a sheen on Jim Crow.

                  *A fitting monument. Lee can’t go to his beloved home.

                  Reply
                  1. Matt

                    The recommendation is not make sure every statue is in a public park, but to collect monuments in a single area. That way, only those who want to see the can do so.

                    I don’t think you’re wrong about the statuses, but I think this example offers a delicate balance on an issue where people disagree and aren’t going to be persuaded otherwise.

                    Reply
              1. clinical wasteman

                And ‘heroic’ statues are about the most ridiculous, bathos-ridden form of it.
                I’d be glad to hear of that one dynamited by persons unknown, but the City plan sounds, yet again, like addressing symbolism while leaving the substantial survival of white ‘Herrenvolk democracy’ alone. Which could be seen as official self-congratulation for abolition that the officials never got around to finishing.
                How about abolishing racist mass incarceration first, after which the Lee effigy can either sink into the ground of its own accord, or be defaced to show the general’s horror at finally being defeated 150+ years late, or the City can pull it down with a bit more justification than it currently has.

                Reply
                1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                  Every statue is a hero to some people.

                  And graven image to some others, to be dynamited like those in the Bamiyan Valley

                  Reply
                  1. clinical wasteman

                    No scorn intended towards the ‘some people’ in question in a lot of cases — though not Lee or Sir Arthur Bomber Harris or … well, a lot of the ‘Heroes’ likely to get statues really — but part of the point was that the monumentalized, pseudorealistic style of Western statuary since about the 16th century, combined with the official invitation to worship, does the historical figure in question no favours at all: the sheer pomposity of the form makes the person depicted look ridiculous even if s/he isn’t.

                    Reply
              2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                Zen master Danxia, from website Terebess.hu

                One of Ma-tsu’s famous disciples, T’ien-jan 天然 (died 824) of Tanhsia 丹霞 (Tanka in Japanese), was spending a night at a ruined temple with a few traveling companions. The night was bitterly cold and there was no firewood. He went to the Hall of Worship, took down the wooden image of the Buddha, and made a comfortable fire. When he was reproached by his comrades for this act of sacrilege, he said: “I was only looking for the `sariira (sacred relic) of the Buddha.” “How can you expect to find `sariira in a piece of wood?” said his fellow travelers. “Well,” said T’ien-jan, “then, I am only burning a piece of wood after all.”

                The wooden image was there for many, many hundreds of years, perhaps.

                Some, or many, people will assign more meaning. positive or negative, to an image that what it is.

                Do we go chase down every one of them? Do victims (or their descendants) of the crusades tear down every cross? And others do the same to every crescent, or whatever symbolizes the conquest of the land of milk and honey so those promised by their deity could enjoy?

                Reply
            2. Antifa

              “States’ rights” is always, always a repudiation of the most fundamental bedrock agreement of the American experiment — that we all agree to agree on certain principles embodied in our Constitution, and follow them.

              To renege on this bedrock oath to live under one set of laws together is to secede from the Union, and this we name correctly as treason.

              There have been good reasons in our short national history for Americans to foment and practice treason in order to root out injustices and shortcomings in our Constitution, and no doubt there will be more.

              But to foment treason for the purpose of states’ rights to treat blacks as less than whites? That ship sailed a long time ago. That dog won’t hunt.

              Reply
            3. Lambert Strether

              > there is no revisionism in the removal of these statues. They should never have been built in the first place

              But… They were built, were they not? That’s part of history, too.

              For example: Do you believe that The Birth of a Nation should be removed from all archives, and the reels destroyed? How about the Collected Works of John C. Calhoun?

              Reply
          2. Foppe

            OTOH, they’re mostly still there now, and their presence has thus far done basically nothing for generating awareness. (For other examples, look at how the “Indian Wars” are described on the info terminals put up by the state/national park services — e.g. south of Flagstaff, AZ — which all still describe said “wars” as reasonable/defensive efforts, rather than as all part of a genocide.) I’m all for education, but when I see the useless attempts at it that you find even in the concentration camps — let alone European history books — we’ve learned next to nothing from that two-part, genocidal war, except that Europeans shouldn’t kill other Europeans. Beyond that, and ignoring the Balkans/Ukraine/etc., anything (still) goes.

            Reply
            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Those in Flagstaff, AZ may perhaps question one of our own symbols, the flag on a flagstaff or not.

              “Oh, say can you see? Why is it still there?”

              Reply
            1. Indrid Cold

              Related to this point, why don’t they just make monuments to common Confederate soldiers? Germany has a generic monument to the fallen that just memorializes everyone who died for their country. A tribute to Lee belongs in a military history museum. Without the soldiers (and plenty of average southerners avoided military service any way they could) Lee would have been a footnote in the Mexican American War

              Reply
              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                In Buddhism, it is said, everyone has Buddha-nature.

                On the other hand, there is only one Buddha (at this time – Maitreya is the next Buddha, and there were Buddhas in the past).

                Likewise, everyone is divine, some believe, but there is also the one and only.

                We humans have this defect that we are obsessed with this or that savior or messiah.

                Reply
              2. Harold

                There is a Johnny Reb statue in Marshall, Texas, that is the most hideous thing –simperingly sentimental and saccharine– you ever saw. It ought to be melted down on aesthetic grounds if nothing else. Perhaps there are others like it elsewhere in the South.

                Reply
              3. Am Expat in Mindanao

                Actually, at least in Virginia anyway, many towns erected monuments to their local Confederate soldiers. They are usually located on a main street and the figure of the trooper always faces South. To see an example, do Google Earth, Street View, Alexandria, Virginia, intersection S. Washington and Prince St.

                Reply
              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                Who is more like to name it realistically?

                1. The loser
                2 The winner
                3. A neutral party, from a different century, somewhere in the US
                4. Another neutral party, from another country, centuries later?

                What name do others around the world call it?

                Reply
            2. Yves Smith Post author

              An interesting side effect of Birmingham being a post Civil War city (it was founded in 1867) is that despite visiting there very frequently, I’ve never heard anyone use that expression.

              Reply
              1. WobblyTelomeres

                If you visited Walker, Marion, Blount, Fayette, Morgan, Cullman, or even Winston county, you probably would have. The older whites in most of Shelby and Jefferson counties, especially Mtn Brook, Vestavia, Homewood, and Hoover, know to avoid using the phrase. Just saying. I grew up there. Heard it often.

                Reply
          3. mpalomar

            Interesting that the initial post in this telephone game was about a rally of white supremacists who chose to rally to save the Lee statue after the city council voted to remove. It was erected in 1890 by the city so the decision seems in a way to be judiciously symmetrical.

            “We should leave those statues… in place” (after all where would the pigeons shit) “if only to remind us how our use of human beings for our own gains almost destroyed us as a country” Well that would be about right but it begs the question, Is that what they remind?

            I can see the advantage of saving the vestiges of our ugly past, we usually don’t get to catch but a glimpse of it, as is the case in Richmond, heroes & horses. Perhaps the statuary needs to be repurposed to engage the viewer with some useful history that is “neither dead or past,” instead of just removed. (Perhaps that’s what’s going on?) Figuring out how to do that is often the cause of useful agitation, interrupting the whitewash cycle; recall the Enola Gay exhibit at the Smithsonian some years ago. The vote to remove, one might hope, is a part of the process of that engagement.

            Having been through Richmond and visited those Memorial Avenue circles and generals on horses, my other thought is they are mostly suitable for little other than shade, a rendezvous designation and potty stops for pigeons, as are most such works. Equestrian statuary is one of the sad stops for the sculptural arts, I can think of none that appeal, others of course may have their favorites. Perhaps Marino Marini’s exuberant riders, though somewhat limited after encountering the first few. Donatello, Verrocchio, even Frederic Remington had some success but generally it’s a dead zone in the arts; sculptural artistry reduced to statuary in the service of propaganda, generally war propaganda.

            Reply
            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              “Saving the vestiges of our ugly past”, sure why not.

              While we’re on The Truth Patrol we could erect some new statues as the vestiges of our ugly present.

              You could start with a statue of a Libyan nine-year old with her arms blown off by an American drone missile, wielded by a laughing former Secretary of State, with an inscription under her that says “Veni, Vidi, Denique Mortuus Est”. She could be astride the missile, Strangelove-like, with her frozen rictus memorialised for all time. Yes it’s important to remember.

              Then maybe one of a Pentagon general, taking food out of the mouth of an Appalachian child and feeding it into the maw of a laser-guided electromagnetic cannon. He should be hugely fat and festooned with medals, maybe sitting atop a pile of money? We want future generations to remember the choices we made.

              Celebrate! Who we are and what we do. Present the events as they are and let future Americans make the judgements.

              Reply
              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                The Truman presidential library – do people of Nagasaki ever visit it?

                There are other commanders-in-chief who were just as exceptional as well.

                Reply
        2. David

          It was then, and is now, about racism.

          From wiki,

          Historically, southern slave-holding states, because of their low cost manual labor, had little perceived need for mechanization, and supported having the right to sell cotton and purchase manufactured goods from any nation. Northern states, which had heavily invested in their still-nascent manufacturing, could not compete with the full-fledged industries of Europe in offering high prices for cotton imported from the South and low prices for manufactured exports in return. Thus, northern manufacturing interests supported tariffs and protectionism while southern planters demanded free trade.

          Considering that todays free trade/low cost labor supporters are losing the fight against the tariffs and protection crowd (aka deplorables), is it possible that this demonstration was staged to anger the left? The same left that has abandoned the democratic party, the free trade/low cost labor party.

          It was then, as is now, about economics, IMO.

          Reply
          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            “The same left that has abandoned the democratic party, ”

            Ah, the subtlety of propaganda at work. The whole DLC schtick was to abandon the left in favor of the “moderate suburban Republicans.” The left didn’t make Carter attack unions. The left tolerated the Democratic Party for far too long well after it was clear the Democrats despised the left.

            Yes, today’s demonstration was targeted. They know appearing in CVille would be deliberately provocative.

            Reply
            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              They should and are right to abandon the D party, after being abandoned by the latter.

              Today, we have indebted serfdom, a new kind of slavery.

              The old form of slavery is not an imminent possibility. The statue had way more influence 100 years ago than now, and the nation came through and moved on.

              What about all those ball parks dedicated to the ever living glory of our neoliberal multinational corporations?

              Reply
              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                A new one pops every day.

                So those personhood god-like corporate entities should live in our hearts always.

                Reply
        3. RWood

          Shadowing:
          “We live in an age of counter-revolutionary reaction in the West. Soon, we’ll forget that we are human and that we can make our own history. ”
          Luciana Bohne
          et
          “The Charlottesville rally has the potential to unite differing radical and progressive activists who oppose white nationalist organizing, and this opportunity should not be squandered. A broad-based, progressive coalition of groups with different analyses and approaches is needed to counter this new, reinvigorated far right. If these groups can’t cooperate, they should at least be able to leave each other alone to pursue their own strategies. But that should not mean staying home and ignoring public far right activism. When far right organizers try to take over our cities, the one thing that progressives can’t do is to respond with silence. In the face of an aggressive racist movement, silence is consent.”
          Spencer Sunshine
          https://zcomm.org/znetarticle/challenging-fascist-rally/

          Reply
        4. JamesG

          Interesting times ahead where I live.

          Lexington, Virginia.

          Home of Washington and Lee University which includes Lee Chapel which includes Lee’s tomb.

          Home also of Stonewall Jackson’s grave.

          My idea for W&L: put up a statue of Spike Lee and rededicate the place.

          Reply
      2. Foppe

        What, statues honoring and glorifying Hitler have to be left standing, and maintained, simply because other people once felt it would be a great idea to put up said statue? That makes no sense at all.

        Reply
        1. kurtismayfield

          Wow you didn’t take too long to go Godwin’s Law did you.

          No side was innocent in the American Civil war.. look at all of the death and destruction Grant and Sherman caused. Do you want to tear down their status as well? Lee was not only a General, he was the southern symbol for reconciliation after the war and did what he could to piece the Union back together. Yes he was a supporter of slavery and not giving freed slaves the right to vote, but so were all who supported the original US Constitution.

          Keep the statues up.. if they help remind people of the disaster that was the American Civil war was and the choices all these men had to make then all the better.

          Reply
          1. Foppe

            I’m not in favor of Grant/Sherman/Lee (or any other National Hero) statues either, if that’s what’s bothering you. They’re just as inappropriate as statues of Douglas MacArthur, and other chaps who ran the Korean and Vietnam wars, would be (assuming they don’t exist, anyway…).

            Reply
          2. Expat

            Your argument is that since both sides killed, neither side can claim the moral high ground. This facile and erroneous bit of logic is a weak attempt to detract from the basic reality that the South wanted slavery and the North did not. Our American society worships violence in all its forms and in the tradition of Greco-Roman heritage, we raise statues to our military leaders. But why force a community to keep this particular statue when it represents something so heinous as the Fight To Keep Slavery?

            Your assertion that all who supported the original Constitution supported slavery is also a lie. Many abolitionists agreed to the Three-Fifths Compromise not because they supported slavery but because they felt creating a union as more important than dividing it at that time. To suggest that men like John Quincy Adams supported slavery is an insult to both fact and his legacy. I might suggest to you that as an American you are guilty of the tortures committed in Abu Graib or any of the dozens of CIA black sites since you were American then and still are despite the torture.

            The statue of Lee does not remind people of the fight against slavery. On the contrary, it suggests to people that Lee was fighting a noble cause and was a Southern, perhaps American, hero. Too many Southerners and racist whites in general continue to ascribe to the lie that the Civil War was not about slavery. Keeping statutes of Lee or flying the Confederate flag perpetuates that lie.

            Tear it down. Send the protesters back to school or ship off to Mauritania for a year. Perhaps not…after all, they represent about one-quarter of America.

            God save America…if He can.

            Reply
            1. Fiery Hunt

              But why force a community to keep this particular statue when it represents something so heinous as the Fight To Keep Slavery?

              Nothing like being the arbitrator of what a statue represents…
              Such moral authority.

              Reply
              1. Expat

                Are you suggesting that Lee fought for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Your weak attempt to deflect my criticism by saying I have no ability or authority to make moral judgements is laughable. You are essentially saying that since you, personally, disagree with me, my position is not only wrong but I am egotistical and arrogant.

                What, pray tell, does this statue represent? Suppose there had never been a Civil War. Would the south have erected statues of Lee? I doubt it (unless you wish to enter into the realm of fiction and pretend he fought some other great battles?). So Lee’s statue is an homage to the general who led the Southern armies in their fight to preserve slavery.

                Go ahead and mock my “moral authority.” I, in turn, will mock your immoral lack of authority.

                If you feel threatened by blacks, asians, jews, hispanics, and northern liberals, I suggest that the problem lies with you, and not with them.

                You lost the war. Get over it.

                Reply
                1. Fiery Hunt

                  Ah yes, the Dellusional Identity Warrior claims both wisdom and moral authority…

                  You are absolutely insane in your assumptions of me.
                  Born and raised to 3 generations of Portuguese Californians. I neither come from nor know any Southern rebels.

                  I neither won nor lost in the Civil War.

                  Nor do I, living in perhaps the most diverse area of the country (the SF Bay Area), have a problem with any race, religion or sexual orientation. My world rejects such stereotypes. Including the one where if you don’t agree with me you must be a racist, misogynist homophobe.

                  That’s your prejudice.

                  You, sir, are the self-righteous arrogance that was rejected in the last presidential election. I would humbly suggest you get over it but I know you cannot.

                  You have my pity.

                  Reply
          3. vlade

            ah, is that why there are statues to Longstreet everywhere in the South. oh, wait, no, he was branded traitor for supressig KKK

            Reply
        2. Fiery Hunt

          What about those slave owner Founding Fathers?
          Should be tear down the Washington monument?

          Lee was no more fighting for slavery than I am.

          Reply
          1. Foppe

            Would you say that if slavery still existed today, and you lived in that society, but weren’t enslaved, it would be morally neutral to be silent about it?

            Reply
          2. Richard

            Of course he was! He was fighting for white supremacy and the institution of slavery because that is what seccession was all about. If he had other “reasons”, well bully for him, but it doesn’t change why elites in southern states left the union. Their ‘right’ to own other people was being challenged. BTW, if you go back to primary sources, like the individual states’ declarations of seccession, it’s very easy to see that the succession and war was about white supremacy and slavery, because that’s what they said it was about! They didn’t try to hide it.
            There really was no mystery about the cause of the Civil War, from 1865 for years afterward, until apologists for continued white supremacy through Jim Crow, in the north as well as the south, began ‘re-evaluating” things, and erasing the role of white supremacy and slavery itself. This sad project began in earnest in the early 20th century, and continues to this day.

            Reply
            1. Fiery Hunt

              Buzz! wrong answer!
              For some, I would say most Southern soldiers (since most did not own slaves!), it was about home and sovereignty.

              A couple of quotes:

              “Since my interview with you on the 18th I have felt that I ought not longer retain my commission in the Army … It would have been presented at once, but for the struggle it has cost me to separate myself from a service to which I have devoted all the best years of my life, and all the ability I possessed … I shall carry with me to the grave the most grateful recollections of your kind consideration and your name and fame will always be dear to me. Save for defense of my native state, I never desire again to draw my sword..” Letter to General Winfield Scott (20 April 1861) after turning down an offer by Abraham Lincoln of supreme command of the U.S. Army

              “So far from engaging in a war to perpetuate slavery, I am rejoiced that Slavery is abolished. I believe it will be greatly for the interest of the South. So fully am I satisfied of this that I would have cheerfully lost all that I have lost by the war, and have suffered all that I have suffered to have this object attained.”
              Gen. Robert E Lee

              Reply
              1. marym

                Lee was a slaveowner before the War. In 1866 he testified to Congress against granting rights to African Americans. He was a white supremacist his whole life.

                During the postbellum century, when Americans North and South decided to embrace R. E. Lee as a national as well as a Southern hero, he was generally described as antislavery. This assumption rests not on any public position he took but on a passage in an 1856 letter to his wife. The passage begins: “In this enlightened age, there are few I believe, but what will acknowledge, that slavery as an institution, is a moral & political evil in any Country. It is useless to expatiate on its disadvantages.” But he goes on: “I think it however a greater evil to the white than to the black race, & while my feelings are strongly enlisted in behalf of the latter, my sympathies are more strong for the former. The blacks are immeasurably better off here than in Africa, morally, socially & physically. The painful discipline they are undergoing, is necessary for their instruction as a race, & I hope will prepare & lead them to better things. How long their subjugation may be necessary is known & ordered by a wise Merciful Providence.” (LINK)

                Whatever anyone else may think of Lee, those protesting the removal of the statue in Charlottesville were doing so explicitly, in word and symbol, as white supremacists and nazis. So maybe that’s what they think of Lee.

                Reply
              2. mpalomar

                I think humanity and individuals usually go to war for ill conceived reasons. Lee was no exception, confused about his loyalties and moral imperatives, he mistakenly chose Virginia and consequently slavery over country and abolition. In the scheme of things country and state bear little importance compared to the issue of slavery.

                When a community wants to reevaluate a long ago commitment to laudatory imagery celebrating cultural icons that have more recently been judged with collective opprobrium it is perhaps about coming to terms with shared demons.

                Reply
              3. Richard

                First, I am really bad with links, so let me just say the material I’m drawing from came from a document called Declaration of Causes of Seceeding States, somebody gathered several of the documents together, and the URL thingy is ucs.louisiana.edu.
                In the South Carolina Declaration of the Causes Of Secession, the authors cite violations of article 4 of the Constitution, by not returning fugitive slaves, as a primary cause, and note that:
                “All the states north of that line have united in the election of a man to the high office of President if the United States whose opinions and purposes are hostile to slavery”
                In the Mississippi document (with a 20 word title I won’t copy) cites as a cause for separation with the union, that “it advocated negro equality, socially and politically, and promotes insurrection and incendiarism in our midst”, that it “denies the right of property in slaves” and “refuses the admission of new slave states to the union”.
                Here are a couple quotes from the Texas document:
                “That in this free government, all white men are and of right ought to be entitled to equal civil and political rights.”
                “The governments of the several states….were established by the white race, for themselves and their posterity, that the African race had no agency in their establishment, that they were rightfully held and regarded as an inferior and dependent race, and in that condition only could their existence in this country be rendered beneficial or tolerable.”
                So these are what some of the elites of various seceeding states had to say about why they were going to war. Anyway, you can DDG it and go look for yourself.

                Reply
              4. vlade

                so that is why Lee kept the slaves his father-in-law freed for years 5 years, the longest the will stupulated, even though it was clear Custis wanted them to be freed soonest possible… because Lee was an abolitionis, right!

                Reply
          3. Expat

            Your revisionist history is a charming testament to Southern willful ignorance. It’s understandable. But your blithe dismissal of facts does not change them.

            The South fought to preserve slavery. Lee led the army and fought for them. Or are you suggesting he was merely following orders?

            And Jefferson Davis was a reluctant leader who hated slavery but felt that individual rights (for whites) were more important than preserving the Union?

            Reply
            1. Fiery Hunt

              And if I’m not Southern in the slightest, would you admit the failure of your keen insight?

              Can you acknowledge your bias? Admit your faulty perception?

              Of course not.

              Reply
              1. Richard

                Did I need to label you or call you a name to get you to respond to my post? It’s the one up there ^, with the primary source evidence I collected (took me a whole half-hour, and I feel like a scholar!)
                Regardless of where you live, your reading/understanding of the meaning of the civil war is being challenged! Beep, beep.

                Reply
                1. Fiery Hunt

                  Thanks…I appreciate the restraint! :)

                  The Civil War in my view can best be understood from 2 vantage points: The politicians view and the soldiers view. Of course the Civil War was about slavery and bigotry but that was part of the larger issue of power, namely economic (but also governmental) power.

                  The soldiers (including Gen. Lee) saw it mostly about them and theirs; namely a way of life (farming) …(again, most Southern soldiers were not slave-owners…yes, Lee was) and their families.

                  If the North had paid the Southern man and granted him home and freedom from Northern domination, he wouldn’t have taken up arms to defend slavery….

                  Do you suppose the Army of Northern Virginia would have sailed to the Ivory Coast to defend the slave trade?

                  The political causes of the War are different then the reasons to fight, if you know what I mean.

                  Reply
                  1. Fiery Hunt

                    And FWIW… I see a lot of the same confusion today; about support for Trump being about racism …It’s possible to be one without the other.

                    Reply
                  2. Richard

                    I don’t think there was a “larger issue of power, namely economic (but also governmental) power” that was larger than slavery, but if there was, name it. You’re neglecting to do so, other than generalities about protecting one’s home and family, which are far from the point, if we are at a point in time before any invasion has begun, when one is still debating whether to start a war to protect slavery. And I have shown some evidence that this was the casus belli, yes? At least the official one?
                    I agree that the war should be read from multiple viewpoints, definitely including that of the slave and free black populations, whose multi-generational resistance to bondage, including sabotage, escape, revolt, pamphleteering, organizing, revolt and armed struggle forced the hand of southern elites, already predisposed to paranoia, and the sense they were sitting on a powderkeg. This resistance may indeed have precipitated the war, and and played a key role in the defeat of slavery.

                    Reply
                    1. Fiery Hunt

                      While under the Constitution, Congress could not prohibit the import slave trade until 1808, the third Congress regulated it in the Slave Trade Act of 1794, which prohibited shipbuilding and outfitting for the trade. Subsequent acts in 1800 and 1803 sought to discourage the trade by limiting investment in import trading and prohibiting importation into states that had abolished slavery, which most in the North had by that time

                      That’s nearly 60 years prior to the War.

                      Economic strangulation. Economic power. Using slavery to kill the Southern farmer. Even as most weren’t slave owners.

                      Get it? Not about slavery but in response to tactics to end slavery.

                    2. Fiery Hunt

                      Sowell also notes in Ethnic America: A History, citing historians Clement Eaton and Eugene Genovese, that three-quarters of Southern white families owned no slaves at all.

                      Thanks Wikipedia for all the easily found facts.

      3. FluffytheObeseCat

        “Seems like this attempt to erase history”. Bullshit. I know there is a push to keep the language clean here, but……. Bullshit.

        Take downs of Confederate war general statues are not “an attempt to erase history”. They are efforts to address history head on. Protests run by whiny little twerps with 88 tattooed on their flabby arms are not efforts to defend the Truth(TM). These statues should have been removed 45 years ago. They should never have been erected. They were thrown up during the time of the real history re-write, c. 1900-1930, when ‘Birth of a Nation’ agitprop (and Hollywood’s kinder, gentler celluloid South imagery) warped our view of history away from reality. All those stuffy memorial statues were part of a big ole faux-corny re-imaging of once despised turncoat Rebs. Today’s alt-right fetishizing of these………. edifices is more of the same.

        They’re not angry about erasure of history; they’re enraged that someone is undoing their ancestors’ successful cover-up.

        I’m usually quite wary of campus thought police; they are usually unpleasant egoists, who use a very malleable definition of ‘social justice’ as a vehicle for self-promotion. But, these statues should have come down decades ago.

        Reply
      4. Dita

        My understanding is that many of these monuments went up decades after the Civil War, not only to commemorate the war about also to reinforce supremacy over black american citizens, whose “vote” on the matter was suppressed, or “erased”. So, no tears here. It’s not only white voices who are heard now, and some people can’t deal with that. I do however think rather than destroy monuments they might be gathered somewhere as a remembrance of where we’ve been.

        Reply
      5. Pookah Harvey

        So the alt -right is there to support Robert E. Lee for his belief in “state’s rights”, where a state determines whether one man can or cannot own another man. But they are adamantly against a city determining for itself whether or not to take down a statue. Weird interpretation of democracy.

        Reply
    3. DJG

      Foppe. From this morning’s events in Charlottesville, the big Saturday rally, as reported by The Guardian:

      >>
      With a police helicopter buzzing overheard, successive groups of mostly young men, carrying Confederate flags, rune banners, “Kekistan” flags and other racist symbols entered via the south-east and south-west ends of the park.

      They then passed through gaps left in the barricades surrounding the protest and the Robert E Lee statue which it claims to be defending.

      The passage of the far-right groups was watched over by Virginia state police, Charlottesville police officers, and armed “Three Percent” militia members, who were dressed in fatigues and open-carrying automatic weapons.
      >>
      The first paragraph that I reproduce is because of the kitsch element of right-wing politics. In other articles, I am reading of them chanting Blood and Soil. Blood and Soil in the USA, a country where no one can claim any “purity” racially and where so much of the population is so detached from traditional rural life and agriculture that “Soil” is what is in the potted plant in the living room? But esthetics aren’t the main issue.

      Note the militia. And what a surprise. A private militia in uniforms taking advantage of open-carry laws (let alone concealed carry). Supposedly assisting the police, who already have too many weapons and not enough peace-preserving tactics. So now we know just what these laws are all about: Suppression of dissent, not granny negotiating the terrors of the parking lot at Costco.

      Yet I am reminded of a series of comments that Digby (yes, well-meaning Digby) made a long time ago: Much of these displays and the underlying anger would dissipate if all of these people had meaningful work. Just as in Weimar Germany, we are seeing symptoms of what happens when there isn’t enough work.

      Reply
      1. Foppe

        Be careful mentioning that to woke keyboard twitterati Democrats / SJWs, though. They’re convinced that it’s wrong to even suggest that may play a role — because we all know that people who have work themselves cannot be worried about what they see happening to those around them, who they care about. No — it’s all racism, all the time.

        Reply
    4. Alex Morfesis

      The south shall fall again…robert e lee…the definition of vociferous incontinent incompetent impotent eloquent ignorance…

      basically the fool lost the war…

      but he was a snappy dresser and gave great speech…

      certainly a perfect example of how reality has nothing to do with history…

      but let us not be too harsh on the average true southern american…

      Everyone can just look around and easily find how the purported oppressed can easily become the oppressor…

      Karagiozis…in ellas…on the streets of athens…it is an insult…

      however…most athenians are too daft to notice karagiozis was a puppet act mandated by the othmans to make fun of the Karageorge royalists of Serbia who were considered and named as fake royals to attempt to reduce their popularity and capacity to spread the idea of breaking from the othman yoke…unesco has shown it’s great capacity by chiming in and calling this official blackface theater as historical “patrimony” which must be preserved…there is much “revisionist” history brought to the unwashed by the paperclippers of huntsville krewe on this…much noise but no actual actionable references…

      Down here in flow read duh, amerikanakia of ellenic decent love hanging out with southern boys, forgetting their ancestors were met with such loving signs as greeks need not apply and in 1922 in atlanta a fraternal organization was formed to deal with the love these southern boys with white hoods had for greeks…

      In new york city and other northern police forces, the progeny and great great grandchildren of irish who struggled have no problem chokeholding some black kid wearing a bob marley shirt or marcus garvey shirt, either not knowing or forgetting the British asked the americans to destroy Garvey since they were convinced he had helped get the arms thru attempted blockades and barriers for the “domhnach na fola”…

      Certainly cubans shouting fidelista and communista at anyone not kissing the rings of the official mandated cuban immigrant politicians seem to not recall the miami krewe were fidel Castro’s in laws and he was a nobody until he married into “their” family…one could argue the cuban “revolution” was just an ugly divorce…no one knew who this bearded fool was until he was “presented” to the cuban people with the help of his politically powerful in laws…”no era nadie”…

      And down south here most fools confuse a redneck and a craker as basically the same thing…not quite…although again, anyone can write what they want…but some of the old cattle families down here in flow read duh have whispered towards my ears to be a true cracker one has to have Spaniard ancestry, since florida first belonged to spain and many olde familes have such dna…

      Leave the robert e lee statues up…if fools want to celebrate an idiot…let them…the south shall fall again…

      Now if you try to put up some john mccain and lindsey graham statues before my last breath…we’re gonna have a problem…

      Reply
    5. djrichard

      This could have played out so differently. The right-wing extremists want to march. Their right is denied. The ACLU goes to bat for them to get their right to march restored. They march. They go home. End of story. In fact, it’s a story that wouldn’t have really gotten that much visibility in the press.

      P.S. really needed the cat antidotes today.

      Reply
      1. Scylla

        I have been saying the same thing all day. There were more cameras at that rally than there were white supremacists (or whatever label you want to use). Had they been ignored, this relatively small group of idiots would have gone home demoralized and delegitimized. Now they have gotten huge visibility and their voices have been amplified. There would have been no violence had they just been ignored, instead a group of people had to rush in and signal their virtue by shouting at and intimidating a group of fools with no real power, escalating the situation until real violence occurred. Now people are dead and hurt, and real corporate fascism will be allowed to advance in a vacuum while attention is diverted.

        Reply
        1. bob

          The courts ruled yesterday that the rally was good to go.

          Current VA gov and Clinton bagman McAuliffe presumably then order his troops to disperse them.

          Way to turn a non-event into a giant shitshow.

          Just steal their confederate while no one is paying attention. Capture the Confederate could have been the feel good game of the summer.

          Who the fuck thought it was a good idea for the statue to be sold? My guess the ever present fiscally conservative socially progressives.

          “we can make money!”

          Reply
        2. abynormal

          ‘They’ have been living economic indifference…this is blowback from ‘feeling’ ignored.

          ‘Ignoring’ is the stockpile of fuel used to throw on a freshly lit matchstick.

          Reply
      2. skippy

        So hard to find any reason to feel bad about a mob that has a bad case of master and slave complex, its just the preferences about its order that get them excited one way or another….

        disheveled…. the endless mental flagellation over persecution complex, not being in ascendancy as prophecy.

        Reply
      3. mpalomar

        “They march. They go home. End of story.”

        Probably not the end of story. It’s the story that never ends.
        An inexcusable reduction and simplification but for the sake of argument how about the Italian socialists who couldn’t get their act together to resist Mussolini’s black shirts and wound up surrendering Italy to the fascists in the mid 1920’s? They just stayed home.
        Hitler was Mussolini’s doppelganger and Franco was the beneficiary of both.

        The Trumpening is happening in reverse of the adage that history repeats itself, first as tragedy than as farce. Those supremacists in Richmond and elsewhere feel empowered by Bannon inspired Trump dog whistling regarding white Christian primacy and have emerged from under their rocks. They’ll likely find their furher hasn’t a commitment beyond maximizing the grift. But the next time might be different.

        Reply
        1. djrichard

          And yet the ACLU went to bat for them.

          Have we progressed to a state where the ACLU shouldn’t go to bat for them? Have parties engaged the ACLU to sensitize them to the risk you describe?

          Or is the playing field sought by the ACLU an anachronism no longer relevant in this new normal that we live in?

          Reply
          1. JBird

            First, the violence today is nowhere near as violent as many many many protests. I’ve seen some violent protests and the only shocking thing was that murderous ISIS imitator.

            Second, the ACLU is very consistent in going to bat for pretty much everyone especially in 1st Amendment cases. Don’t forget we have some on the left demanding protection from “hate” speech, which is very nebulous and broad, and seems to be anything said by anyone that they do not like. Then there is the Federal, State, and Municipal governments which also has the same criteria for speech they do not like.

            Thirdly, at what point does one say to someone that they cannot demonstrate or even speak? The 1st Amendment is the first for a reason for without it we no longer have a democracy.

            Fourth, the Civil Rights, Free Speach, and Antiwar Movements. Occupy Wall Street. Union strikes and protests. They were all been condemned as criminal, or violent, even using Ghandian levels of peaceful protests. Sometimes the protests became violent although usually not because of the protesters. They were also necessary because of needed changes that were not going to happen without protests. The government could suppress them for fomenting unrest. Indeed, the various levels of government often tried. Violently.

            Now if some demonstrators try to commit violence by all means arrest them, but trying to stop demonstrations, no matter what odious cause it is for, or because there might be violence by someone is unconstitutional, unethical, and counterproductive. It also will not work. Whatever the reasons for them will still be there festering. We just will not see them until the eruption comes.

            Reply
          2. jackiebass

            The stated purpose of the ACLU is to defend anyone who they think had their constitutional rights violated. Mostly they are accused of defending liberals. They also defend others ,but it usually isn’t a major news story.

            Reply
    6. jackiebass

      I’m very progressive but I don’t believe the statue , any symbol of the Civil War or, anything that tells us about our history should be removed.They are part of our history and need to stay to remind us of our past. Removing the symbol doesn’t change the past. We should learn from our past and not make the same mistakes. I don’t agree that mass protests are a solution and in fact they create problems. What happened at the demonstration illustrates what can happen that is harmful and counter productive. I know groups on both the left and right have causes they champion. The way you champion your cause is as important as the cause. Unfortunately our society has become so polarized that it seems to me a peaceful protest is no longer possible. It seems to me that presently we have become less tolerant of others than we were in the past.It doesn’t help when the president both directly and indirectly promotes this kind of behavior.

      Reply
  2. Bill Smith

    “The Nation Article About the DNC Hack Is Too Incoherent to Even Debunk”

    “Most households don’t get internet speeds that high, but enterprise operations, like the DNC — or, uh, the FSB — would have access to a higher but certainly not unattainable speed like that.”

    Oh, does this mean that the author thinks the FSB upgraded the DNC’s internet connection for them so they could download the files quickly?

    I thought the Nation article was pretty poor but this New York Magazine rebuttal ranks right up there with it.

    Reply
    1. Foppe

      Imo, the ham-fisted DNC response more than makes up for any weaknesses in the story (which, I might note, only raises questions, it doesn’t pretend that it’s settled the matter):

      Editor’s note: After publication, the Democratic National Committee contacted The Nation with a response, writing, “U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded the Russian government hacked the DNC in an attempt to interfere in the election. Any suggestion otherwise is false and is just another conspiracy theory like those pushed by Trump and his administration. It’s unfortunate that The Nation has decided to join the conspiracy theorists to push this narrative.”

      Reply
      1. edmondo

        “:…to interfere in the election.”

        To interfere by telling the truth of what really happened? We used to have newspapers do that.

        Reply
  3. dcblogger

    I watched CNN for the first time in years yesterday, it is completely crazy. You watch it for 2 minutes and you realize why Trump is president. It is not just that CNN played a crucial role in normalizing Trump, Wolf Blitzer is a completely horrible person and the whole organization is barking mad.

    Reply
      1. ambrit

        Eureka! “Hillary/Tammy Faye 2020!” Announcing the Pulpit Party.
        Some of our “Mission Statements”:
        “Get Right With Gold.”
        “A Reviving Tide Lifts All Bots.”
        “If You’re Not With Us, Watch Out!”
        “Welcome To The Queendom.”
        “We Are the Forces of Destiny.”
        “Inerrantism: The Doctrine of Fayeth.”
        “The Infinite Coming.”

        Reply
    1. Kokuanani

      CNN is crazy. I quit going to the gym at my local community center because folks there insisted on having the tv tuned to CNN. I would arrive as the place opened and put the station on ESPN, but the wankers howled over that and demanded their CNN.

      Reply
    2. JEHR

      Agreed, dcblogger. Every action of Trump’s is pumped up into such sensationalism that it becomes the most horrendous thing imaginable. I wish they would say what most people do: that Trump is the most unworthy President that was ever elected and then tell us why in straight forward ways: no more pussy-footing around pretending he makes sense, or worse, that he is Presidential. Don’t just report the “facts” but analyze the person for what he is and what he does.

      Reply
      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Part of me thinks Versailles as a whole is against Trump for personal reasons, and that cable news is as sensationalist as usual. Maddow pulls a Glenn Beck routine on a nightly basis, but its a Glenn Beck routine she likely picked up from her self described mentor, Roger Ailes.

        With the internet, we can do the research news bureaus could only dream of in a few minutes which is why msm media has shifted to “Access journalism,” but its much easier to see how crazy infotainment is.

        “Sideshow Bob Roberts” is an episode of The Simpsons which among other targets skewers news media, and the episode aired over two years before FoxNews went live. At the time, each of episode of The Simpsons was a two year process. It sure looks like FoxNews is the target, but did the writers have a time machine? No, the news was terrible in 1995.

        Its the same media of the Bush v Gore days, the Gingrich Revolution, Nightline, and so forth. Its never been good. We just aren’t limited to the word of “respectable people.” I don’t believe televised news is capable of any kind of analysis. It plays to many prejudices which are largely visually based..

        Reply
  4. anonymouse

    That Guardian chokehold piece is a punch to the gut. Hard to refute:

    “Progressives often lambast poor white people for voting for conservative Republicans like Donald Trump, suggesting that those votes are not in their best interests. But low-income white folks might have better sense than pundits give them credit for. A vote for a conservative is an investment in the property value of one’s whiteness. The criminal process makes white privilege more than just a status symbol, and more than just a partial shield from the criminal process (as compared to African Americans). Black men are locked up at five times the rate of white men. There are more African Americans in the US criminal justice system than there were slaves in 1850.

    By reducing competition for jobs, and by generating employment in law enforcement and corrections, especially in the mainly white rural areas where prisons are often located, the chokehold delivers cash money to many working-class white people.”

    This article perfectly explains why I think America will never solve its race problem, and why I’ve lost all hope for it.

    Reply
      1. montanamaven

        Thanks for the link. Good satire.

        As I’m sure you’ll recall, the Putin-Nazis originally materialized out of thin air around the time that Clinton was managing to lose the US presidential election to a repulsive, jabbering, narcissistic clown with absolutely no political experience, who the mainstream media had been assuring the world for months was the Second Coming of Hitler. Given that it was virtually impossible for Clinton to lose to such a noxious buffoon, the only rational explanation was that the Russians had somehow “hacked” the election, or “interfered with,” or “influenced” the election. They had done this by getting their hands on a batch of internal Democratic Party emails, passing them on to Putin-Nazi Propaganda Minister Julian Assange, who published them on the Internet, where they were read by former Obama-voters, who were so completely shocked by their contents that they decided not to vote for Clinton, as they had obviously been intending to do, until their minds got “interfered with.”

        “their minds got ‘interfered with'” is a keeper.

        Reply
    1. o4amuse

      Thank you for your comment. I had ignored the link to Butler’s excerpt because “I know this stuff” and “I already don’t trust the police.” But your comment prodded me to read it and I find that no, alas, even I, an old white guy with a progressive bent and a personal experience of civil rights confrontation with cops and courts from my student days, even I know less than Jon Snow…and he knows nothing.

      Reply
    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      FIrst, poor white people (the poor in general) don’t vote.

      https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/apr/26/bernie-sanders-is-right-poor-people-dont-vote

      The “Deplorable” narrative ignores the white voters who voted for the Republicans aren’t really poor. I think there is confusion about nominal incomes versus cost of living and the natural decline of Republican voter incomes as they retire which in recent days skewed perceptions.

      DLC style Democrats who want to replace the old GOP ignore this and focus on the humorous Evangelical types who were largely seduced because a church provides services the government wasn’t, but

      https://newrepublic.com/article/138754/blame-trumps-victory-college-educated-whites-not-working-class

      College educated whites are to blame? This doesn’t fit the “deplorable” narrative, and it makes the quest for Mittens voters (Trump have many similar policies) seem down right bizarre.

      Call it naivete, but much of rural America is simply not organized or easy to organize. The GOP organizes through churches. Poor whites who really don’t go to church. They don’t vote.

      In many of the in play states, Hillary did worse than Kerry, but the states such as North Carolina and Virginia which were out of play in 2004 saw huge increases in the Democratic vote. Hillary safely win Virginia, but she had half a million more votes in North Carolina than John Kerry had. Some of it was voting age population increase, but much of it was the expectation voting wasn’t an empty exercise. Voters in urban areas are easier to organize because you can canvass, but one obstacle is simply convincing a person their vote can matter especially in an area where everyone seems to vote one way.

      This is my own experience, but I’ve found its much easier to get poor people to vote if you act like they exist and bother to at least act like they warrant respect. Organizing rural areas does take time.

      Reply
      1. JBird

        This is my own experience, but I’ve found its much easier to get poor people to vote if you act like they exist and bother to at least act like they warrant respect. Organizing rural areas does take time.

        Yes!

        Reply
    3. JBird

      I don’t know about individual Whites voting Republican so that Blacks can abused for profit. Or about white privilege.

      I do that the Private Prison Industry has pushed, surreptitiously, along with various police and prison guard unions doing so openly, for stronger enforcement of the laws and increasing prison terms. Here in “liberal” California the prison guards are powerful, and when cuts in funding are made, it is the teachers union and the students in the past who have lost the funding battles. Considering that the Democratic Party has dominated the legislature, I would not give all the blame to those vile white voters.

      When you add in the neoliberal Democrats and the conservative Republicans support of free trade, tax cuts, deregulation, and “entitlement reform” which has led to higher ed, manufacturing, employment, unions, wages to all fall. Add Wall Street getting stinking rich, it’s hardly a surprise that they vote for someone like Trump especially when the alternative are the Clintons.

      Both Parties especially the leadership has used poverty and racism to gain political power. Everyone from the Black Misleadership Class to the Clintons (remember Hilary’s black super predator comments?) to the Republicans not so subtle dog whistles with Obama.

      So nah, I worry about racism in my country too, but while working class whites might be part of the problem, but they are not the cause of it. For that I would blame our political leaders.

      Reply
  5. fresno dan

    Superintelligence: The Idea That Eats Smart People IdleWords

    At that point this monstrous intellectual creature, through devious modeling of what our emotions and intellect are like, will be able to persuade us to do things like give it access to factories, synthesize custom DNA, or simply let it connect to the Internet, where it can hack its way into anything it likes and completely obliterate everyone in arguments on message boards.

    From there things get very sci-fi very quickly.

    Let imagine a specific scenario where this could happen. Let’s say I want to built a robot to say funny things.

    I work on a team and every day day we redesign our software, compile it, and the robot tells us a joke.

    In the beginning, the robot is barely funny. It’s at the lower limits of human capacity:

    What’s grey and can’t swim?
    A castle.

    But we persevere, we work, and eventually we get to the point where the robot is telling us jokes that are starting to be funny:

    I told my sister she was drawing her eyebrows too high.
    She looked surprised.

    At this point, the robot is getting smarter as well, and participates in its own redesign.

    It now has good instincts about what’s funny and what’s not, so the designers listen to its advice. Eventually it gets to a near-superhuman level, where it’s funnier than any human being around it.

    My belt holds up my pants and my pants have belt loops that hold up my belt.
    What’s going on down there?
    Who is the real hero?

    This is where the runaway effect kicks in. The researchers go home for the weekend, and the robot decides to recompile itself to be a little bit funnier and a little bit smarter, repeatedly.

    It spends the weekend optimizing the part of itself that’s good at optimizing, over and over again. With no more need for human help, it can do this as fast as the hardware permits.

    When the researchers come in on Monday, the AI has become tens of thousands of times funnier than any human being who ever lived. It greets them with a joke, and they die laughing.

    In fact, anyone who tries to communicate with the robot dies laughing, just like in the Monty Python skit. The human species laughs itself into extinction.

    To the few people who manage to send it messages pleading with it to stop, the AI explains (in a witty, self-deprecating way that is immediately fatal) that it doesn’t really care if people live or die, its goal is just to be funny.

    Finally, once it’s destroyed humanity, the AI builds spaceships and nanorockets to explore the farthest reaches of the galaxy, and find other species to amuse.

    ====================================
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ienp4J3pW7U

    Finally, once it’s destroyed humanity, the AI builds spaceships and nanorockets to explore the farthest reaches of the galaxy, and find other species to amuse.
    What if they find Vulcans?
    Would the computer, failing at making a Vulcan crack a smile, commit electronic suicide?

    Reply
    1. Alex Morfesis

      Nah…the AI software would crash once it tries to scan the iris of a cat and we would be rescued by the first cat it tries to communicate with since the AI source base for logic is the failed and easily noserung mindset of humans…

      although….what if the cat then confuses the program into doing things the cat wants…

      Nah…if humans are gone who will hit the reset button on the inevitable blank screen ?? As long as yesterdays fistbump kitty is not trained by some basement dwelling schlep…

      khatworld…we are all doomed…

      Reply
      1. fresno dan

        Alex Morfesis
        August 12, 2017 at 9:37 am

        “although….what if the cat then confuses the program into doing things the cat wants…”

        From the article:
        Stephen Hawking is one of the most brilliant people alive, but say he wants to get his cat into the cat carrier. How’s he going to do it?

        He can model the cat’s behavior in his mind and figure out ways to persuade it. He knows a lot about feline behavior. But ultimately, if the cat doesn’t want to get in the carrier, there’s nothing Hawking can do about it despite his overpowering advantage in intelligence.

        Even if he devoted his career to feline motivation and behavior, rather than theoretical physics, he still couldn’t talk the cat into it.
        =====================================================
        What if the cat wants Steven Hawking to clean up his (the cat’s) sh*t…oh yeah, cats (as well as dogs) ALREADY get every human to do that….
        So, in the battle between cats and AI, I’m gonna bet on the cats.

        Reply
        1. Alex Morfesis

          Well…if we accept(not suggested) my Pythagorean religious mindset and absorb the notion mankind has lived here as an advanced species for over a million years with rising and falling civilizations over and over again in a groundhog day type loop…

          Maybe the cats veneration we find engraved in egypt is because previous AI attempts were thwarted by our precious felines…

          Methinks mayhaps…

          Reply
    2. Tom_Doak

      +100 That was the most fun I’ve had reading an article in a while. The “Argument from Stephen Hawking’s Cat” and “Argument from My Roommate” were compelling.

      Reply
    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Jokes can be deadly (and if you can’t be at that level, it’s you don’t have the brain power* of a robot.)

      That’s the one lasting lesson from the tale.

      *Obsession with brain power can be deadly too, I believe.

      Reply
  6. The Beeman

    Cat watching Psycho is great. Really cute and funny.

    Hilarious relief required after browsing today’s links

    Reply
    1. katiebird

      I loved it and desperately needed it!!! (having a horrible summer as both my parents fractured their spines and I am the only sibling in town)

      Reply
        1. Richard

          I wanted the poor thing to look away. I thought his/her tiny heart would give out. In future, it should stick to good solid, middlebrow detective fare: nothing scarier than McCloud I always say.

          Reply
  7. voteforno6

    Re: The Nation Article About the DNC Hack Is Too Incoherent to Even Debunk

    Yeah, that article is really bad. It’s attempt to refute the issue of data transfer speed just breezily assumes that Russia could’ve had access to that amount of bandwidth, while displaying a stunning ignorance of telecommunications. Fortunately, a few brave souls in the comments are trying to point out the problems with the author’s line of reasoning (such as it exists). It seems that this has become an issue of religious faith to many people; no amount of factual argumentation will move them off that position. The article in the Nation offers a technical analysis; the way to respond to it is better technical analysis.

    Reply
    1. Bill Smith

      The problem is need to be able to show the zip file that the metadata that was used to show the transfer speeds was made on the DNC machine and not somewhere else.

      Without being able to show that…

      Else where on the same subject I thought this was interesting:

      http://g-2.space/

      Skip down to

      (6) Rushing To Be Russian

      Reply
      1. carycat

        there is no strong crypto with the common parts of a zip file (which is after all a format from the late 80’s, albeit a very successfull one that is ubiquitous in today’s computing landscape). so any half decent programmer, armed with one of the many publically available tool kits, can construct a zip file with the metadata saying anything you want. but occam’s razor says the perp is just a sloppy (or not well informed about infosec) leaker instead of a machievellian hacker that goes to some bit of trouble to create misleading metadata to make people think that a sloppy leaker is involved.

        Reply
  8. Eclair

    “Farmer vs. Farmer,” is truly a horrifying report. Dicamba is the BASF-developed herbicide, that is now used to kill the glyposphate (Monsanto’s Roundup) resistant pigweed, bane of cotton, soy and corn growers. It is also extremely prone to vaporizing from plants on which it has been sprayed and drifting away, sometimes for miles, where it lands on unsuspecting veggie gardens, ornamental and fruit trees. Or the neighboring farm’s non-Monsanto dicamba resistant crops. Stunting or outright killing them.

    When we arrived here in Chautauqua County, NY, two weeks ago, moving into my spouse’s family home, I noticed that the large flowering cherry tree on the front lawn looked pretty sick. Most of the leaves were gone and the remaining ones were brown and curled at the edges. I figured it was fifty years old and probably dying of old age. Then I began noticing other ornamental trees in the area that were in the same condition. And all the young flowering pears or cherries that are planted around the parking lot of the Home Depot/grocery store look pretty much the same; almost all the leaves have dropped and the ones remaining are curled and brown.

    Chautauqua County is still very much agricultural; the rolling hills are planted, mainly with corn or hay for feed for local dairy and beef cattle. This article on dicamba has me concerned.

    Monsanto …. what can I say. They are a truly evil group of people who, like Eichman, are doing their job of maximizing shareholder return in the most effective and efficient way they know. Banal.

    Reply
    1. Alex Morfesis

      Simple criminal or civil tresspass lawsuits…at a minimum it is a privateered billboard on non lease nor licensed land showing off its extreme product capacities…

      Don’t exactly recall the issue or the company in the chicago area but some annoying fool imagining he was the “be all / end all” corporate demigod living quietly in the near north suburbs was causing some environmental harm locally to a
      left-behind neighborhood in chicago…

      it was framed by the native local group who had asked someone who knew me what could be done or if there were some administrative remedies or legal process that might give them some conforming leverage…

      Suggested since he was basically having his corporation dump its garbage on “their” lawn, that they return the favor and dump their household garbage on his lawn…suggested grandmas already collecting social security be asked if they might consider volunteering for this “communication”…

      no press conference…no noise…

      grandmas walked into local hq of suburb police…explained what they had done and why they did it and began to hand over I.d. for “processing”…

      the police were confused and amused and just asked them not to make a huge habit of it as the small police department did not have the capacity, “nor intent”, to deal with arresting fifty grandmothers(nor probably deal with the media storm that “could” follow)…

      Needless to say…the corporate actions were quietly and quickly adjusted to the reasonable satisfaction of most residents…

      There are always simple reasonable counteractions not wrapped around some media play for fundraising purposes of some chameleon non profit looking(for some reason ny fingers first spelled looting) for the next funding funnel…

      Reply
      1. JTMcPhee

        This former lawyer wondered, from what I recall of Torts as taught in 1973, and in my working life got to help expand a bit in favor of mopery, whether pesticide drift, genetic manipulation and “escaped genes” and such, and related harms might have a remedy in both public and private nuisance litigation. Seems Bloomberg is a little concerned about the plaintiffs’ bar, that often provides remedies and deterrence against corporate horrors, might be finding a foothold in those hoary English common-law writs of action: “Is the public nuisance law universe expanding?”, https://www.bna.com/public-nuisance-universe-n57982083122/ So not to worry, the places where what’s determined to be “ruled” by “law” are well fortified against most efforts to assert “rights” and obtain remedies that mean anything, or nudge the political economy in some direction other than toward the cliff…

        But of course the neoliberal corporate consortium is all over this: “Game Over: Why Recent State Supreme Court Decisions Should End The Attempted Expansion of Public Nuisance Law,” http://adams.law.ou.edu/olr/articles/Vol62/624-01%20schwartz%20et%20al%20blu6.pdf

        Note that tort law was in many kinds of claims (assault, battery, etc.) the protoform of criminal law. http://legacy.earlham.edu/~peters/courses/ct/crimtort.htm And of course criminal law is based on statutes, and of course the “representative government” that enacts these statutes is pretty much for sale to and happy to do the bidding of those with money and power, gained in that feedback loop of greed and “regulatory capture.”

        Leaving this curmudgeon with the conviction that Mopes Are Toast… barring some magical unforeseen Black Swan…

        Reply
    2. Montanamaven

      Yes, truly horrifying. This is a hard but must read. Monsanto is far more dangerous than Kim Jong-un. I hope you will report back on what the local farmers are doing and what the blight might be.

      Loved the cat video.

      The NY Mag article calling “The Nation” article on The Consortium News report on the DNC leak was written by a hack. There was pushback by techies on it. In the January 6 declassified report, there were only 3 agencies involved in making an assessment of the alleged hack. One agency was not “positive” that the hack originated in Russia. The NSA. If the NSA isn’t positive , then the other agencies are, as one commenter put it, “blowing smoke out of their rear ends.”

      Reply
      1. Edward E

        I read somewhere that weed scientists worry that once everyone starts becoming too dependant on Dicamba, like they did with Roundup, that pigweed will play another Mother Nature trick and become resistant again.

        Before the days of Roundup farmers used cover crops, corn gluten and gardeners used vinegar or plastic sheeting.

        Treatment of the soil before anything is discussed here.
        http://www.southeastfarmpress.com/management/growers-share-resistant-pigweed-control-strategies

        Reply
  9. RenoDino

    North Korea

    Today’s reading list is a Who’s Who of officials and various publications who are predicting that a Korean War is unlikely. Ironically, they are the same folks who assured everyone that Donal Trump would never be President. Given their recent track record, we should take their predictions with a very large grain of salt.

    The current meme among the resisters the last two days is that Trump is crazy and needs to go and Kim is OK, if not down right adorable, and can hang around as long as he wants. I think we are witnessing the final meltdown of the never-Trump forces. Kim, to them, is the lesser of two evils and, if forced to choose sides, they willing become Kim sympathizers. It’s always nice to see the opposition build their own coffin.

    Reply
  10. RenoDino

    We’ve studied gender and STEM for 25 years. The science doesn’t support the Google memo.

    It is a sad day when anyone feels the need to argue against what that stupid, young geek/nerd Damore wrote about women’s capabilities in the tech field. I won’t even go there.

    Want to know how badass women are? Watch “Naked and Afraid.” The biggest, strongest guys breakdown in days, while women endure and problem solve. That’s their genius and that’s why we are all here today. Men are a big flash in the pan. The only time they demonstrate real survivor skills is when they learn to work with women instead of against them.

    Reply
    1. craazyman

      I would beg to differ.

      If you watch Cornell Wilde in “Naked Prey” you’ll see, despite the fact he only wore a loin-cloth, he was quite inventive and evaded a whole tribe of spear-wielding madmen for the entire movie. Every time you thought he was dead he’d come up with some amazingly clever strategem that left a trail of dead bodies in his wake. And he was almost naked.

      I don’t think a woman could have done that. Just due to the strength and body size factor. Although women are getting bigger and bigger I’ve noticed — so these days it could be a toss up. One thing’s for sure, I wouldn’t want to be in Cornell Wilde’s situation as either a man or a woman. It’s amazing that he survived and that they somehow got the whole ordeal on film. That’s really incredible.

      Reply
      1. justanotherprogressive

        As though “Naked Prey” has anything useful to say about survival or anything else…..it was just “cheap” entertainment designed to get males into the theaters…so, yes, it was a movie written to appeal to what certain men of that age valued……and nothing more. Should I also believe that “She” had something important to say about something?

        Odd that you didn’t mention the African girl……

        Since we’ve become a technological society, physical attributes, like size and brawn, don’t really mean much, do they? But I’ve noticed that some of you just can’t let go……..

        Reply
        1. local to oakland

          Your digression from coding talent to physical survival is interesting. I don’t think the surviving horrific conditions trait is dependent on gender. Different strategies make sense depending on conditions, including physical strength, but adaptability and will to live are not imho gender specific.

          The thesis from the book Deep Survival makes sense to me. In the tragic incidents the author studied, a small percentage adapt and struggle to survive. Some succeed, some fail, but the vast majority refuse to believe the unexpected tragedy is happening, or they just give up.

          Reply
        2. craazyman

          I was making a joke. I have no idea what the guy at Google wrote and I don’t care. My experience is that women can think illogically just as well as men can. They’re just as prone to hysteria. Just as bone-headed. Just as corrupt. And equally able to make a huge mess of whatever they encounter — if they’re ambitious, hollow, empty pscyopaths in particular. They have as little capacity for self-restraint, they’re every bit as capable of cruelty and cunning, they can dissociate themselves from their actions just as skillfully and they’re able to rationalize their behavior with equal ease.

          It doesn’t take a genius to program a computer. Even if they think they’re geniuses when they’re raking in the VC money. I don’t have any idea why a woman can’t program a computer as well as a man. But it sounds to me — after actually reading the Link–that the Google engineer got run over by a PC steamroller. It could have been driven by a woman just as well as a man. No lie.

          What is there to argue about here? I don’t get it. I guess people just like to argue!

          Reply
    2. justanotherprogressive

      +100

      When I was living in the DC area, there was a new construction site just kitty-corner from my apartment so every day I could, I watched how they were constructing the four buildings. There were men and a few women working those jobs.

      One day, apparently some heavy sacks of something were unloaded in the wrong area and had to be moved. The men dutifully lifted the sacks on to their shoulders and moved them one at a time. The two women I saw moving sacks got handcarts and moved four sacks for every one sack that a man moved. So, who were the most productive workers that day – those that used their brawn or those that used their brains?

      Just saying…..

      Reply
        1. justanotherprogressive

          LOL….
          But seriously, I am definitely NOT against the use of technology. I just think that humans have to control technology and use it for the benefit of all, not just a few….

          Reply
      1. craazyman

        Maybe they were being polite, and let the ladies use the hand-trucks.

        This is like a Rorsach test.

        Every day the peanut gallery is a psycological experiment. Mostly you guys are animals. Hahahahahah. (With apologies to animals).

        Reply
      2. oh

        In many developing countries women are that one that do the heavy lifting – carrying heavy pots of water, carrying heavy loads of construction material and the like. Besides, I don’t think men are built to carry a growing baby for 9 months. There are no men that are strong enough to do any of these things.

        Reply
        1. craazyman

          I saw a link on Drudge a few weeks ago that said a man gave birth to a baby, but I was too grossed-out to even read it.

          That’s not woo-woo or foo-foo stuff, it’s “whoa I need a drink and a xanax and I need it now!” stuff.

          I can’t even imagine what the world will be like once the mad scientists and robots take over. I don’t think Captain Kirk will even want to come here — I think he’s supposed to come around the year 2300. They might have some kind of an animal as a Star Fleet Captain, an animal with a human intelligence but an alligator’s skin, a cat’s eyes, a dog’s smell, a lion’s strength and a bat’s hearing. It would look like soemthing out of — whoa, wait a minute — it would look like something out of Greek mythology. That’s a bit weird.

          Like those centaurs with lions bodies and chests and heads like men. Or like Ovid’s Metamorphoses. That is a bit weird, to connect those dots. See what you made me do! Now its xanax time, just to recover my equilibrium.

          It’s about time for football season, that should calm everybody down and keep the wackos at home and on the couch with a beer and a bong. No marches and no riots. It’s just a close to Captain Kirk as it is to Robert E Lee. Almost.

          Reply
        2. jrs

          it’s true, whatever upper body strength they lack and whatever hard divisions of labor have often existed, females have seldom ever been exempt in the tasks allocated to them, from hard physical labor, as hard as the men.

          Reply
      3. Antifa

        The guys were far more productive.

        The women were moving sacks more efficiently, and certainly more in line with OSHA recommendations, sure. But the guys were thinking about how quickly hefting heavy sacks would get them some lower back pain, some workmen’s comp, some time off work, plenty of pain pills from some doctor or a few doctors, followed by early retirement, disability insurance, and a union pension.

        And we ain’t even gonna mention the dozen or so goombahs who get paychecks without ever even showing up on the job site.

        All added up equals == more paid time off for fishing and hunting and golf and collecting empty beer cans.

        Those poor women. Headed for a lifetime of full employment without injury or rest because they weren’t thinking about the angles. That ain’t the American way.

        Reply
    3. ChrisPacific

      I read the memo and had fun playing “spot the logical fallacy.” It was particularly unfortunate as the guy seemed to genuinely believe he was arguing scientifically. Not a good advertisement for a Harvard education.

      Google stating earnestly that it was important for people to be able to have conversations about these things without fear (days after having fired the guy) was also amusing.

      Reply
  11. Savonarola

    Remember that Kalanick kept most of the voting rights to the stock for himself. I can’t remember the details, but there is a dual class thing in Uber’s stock that leaves Kalanick, if I remember correctly, with a lot of power over the company in his 10% stake.

    That is one reason why Benchmark had to go to the courts instead of to the shareholders, while Kalanick, through obvious bro allies, has the luxury to do the latter.

    There is no answering to the shareholders any longer in the American corporation. Between the courts, new structures, a quiescent regulator in the SEC, it is just buyer beware.

    Reply
    1. a different chris

      But we all have built our retirement on being shareholders. Sigh.

      A side note: funny how “printing money” is in mainstream thought such a bad thing, but what exactly are you doing when you say Benchmark shares, purchased at 27 million, are “worth” 8+ billion dollars?

      I guess printing is all right as long as the right people get it.

      Reply
  12. edmondo

    Trump Hands McConnell a Daunting To-Do List to Regain His Favor Bloomberg

    Only when Elaine Chao gets fired, will we know for sure that Trump is pissed at McConnell. The Donald’s tweets are merely show biz.

    Reply
    1. Uahsenaa

      Which would be a bit of a shame. Chao seems to be one of the few sane people in Trump’s cabinet, but I suppose at this point all hope for sanity is lost.

      Reply
  13. flora

    re: The Nation Article About the DNC Hack Is Too Incoherent to Even Debunk

    After reading last para, conclude the title should be:
    ‘We don’t understand technical stuff – but we’re sure The Nation article is wrong.’

    Reply
  14. Richard

    Bring Me The Head Of Bezos – A different kind of antidote! I love the style… and the One Mad Impulse that Donald should totally follow.

    Reply
  15. justanotherprogressive

    RE: Trump Considering Military Response to Venezuela

    Here you have a big oil producing country in complete disarray and ripe for a quiet takeover by the oil giants (don’t worry, they’ll ask for military help when the time is right), and Trump is shooting off his mouth……I’m betting Woods and Watson are working the phones, trying to find someone who can convince Trump to shut up on Venezuela……

    Reply
    1. JTMcPhee

      What is “Trump” RESPONDING TO, might I ask? Of course that syntax is just MSM Narrative merde to set the stage for “responses” like all the stuff MG Smedley Butler and less enlightened Marines have done, in service to the corporate-consortium Empire…

      “Words matter:” maybe not so much any more, given exponential generation of same. Some kind of inverse-square function, maybe?

      Reply
  16. anon

    Reading the coverage of the election “hack” scandal has been a frustrating experience for me, as I’m sure it has for a lot of other computer technology professionals (those of us who actually earn a living hardening servers, measuring network utilization and creating firewall rules to keep the bad stuff out while still allowing y’all to have your Netflix). From the very beginning people in the various tech fora, mailing lists and other specialized social media, have been calling B.S. on hacking claims made through the credulous mainstream press. It’s not about supporting Trump or politics at all (certainly not for me and most of those I know in tech). It’s about the abuse of the public’s (and the cognoscenti’s) ignorance about the particular technologies in play here. Yes, that article in _The Nation_ is incoherent. But so has most of the reporting on this subject. It’s incoherent because the authors have no idea what they’re talking about. In fact, that’s so obvious I’ve more than once wondered if some technical advisers on the inside may be telegraphing it to those on the outside in a position to see it. Like an inside joke.

    Reply
    1. Antifa

      Indeed. The plain truth is that both with Hillary’s email server and the DNC server, no genuine cracking was ever needed. A script kiddie from any junior high school in the country could access them both in five minutes, and still have time before Geometry I to trick John Podesta into giving away his own email password.

      These “victims of the Russian cyber-villains” don’t even rise to the level of amateur server admins. The DNC still will not allow the FBI to look at their Russia-fried server.

      How come dat?

      Reply
    2. Oregoncharles

      Perhaps you could correct the errors?

      I believe the Nation article is based on technical analysis by former intelligence pros. Were they wrong? Download speeds sound like a highly measurable quantity, but what do I know?

      Reply
    3. Yves Smith Post author

      You need to say specifically what is wrong with the Nation article. The claim regarding the time stamps and the download speeds making it impossible for the information to be hacked as opposed to downloaded locally looks clear to me, so I don’t see what is unclear or incorrect about it. Plus the DNC looks to have been as well managed IT wise as a candy store.

      Reply
      1. Stormcrow

        Thank you. I think you make the essential point. I’m a little suspicious of those who are denigrating the Nation article and the VIPS statement. You’d think William Binney was a rank amateur.

        Reply
    4. NotTimothyGeithner

      The Russian hack story isn’t about anything technology related. Its the search for an excuse for the Clinton candidacy and campaign, and past evidence would indicate Clinton Inc was living one election with a significant third party spoiler in 1992.

      If Hillary lost because she was predictably awful with a mess of a campaign, where does the fault lie? The people who demanded a terrible candidate be President. How can a person who has watched every episode of The West Wing and watches Rachel Maddow have made such a mistake? “OMG Putin” is the only explanation which excuses both the Clinton campaign, the Democratic establishment, and the Clinton primary voter. They can’t blame low minority turnout as 1996 is estimated to be the lowest black turnout since the 1950’s. Low youth turnout? This was a problem for Bill, Gore, and Kerry, and Hillary in her primary in 2008. The electoral college? This isn’t new, and Barack Hussein Obama won it. Hillary against Obama didn’t seem to understand the rules of delegate allocation.

      At least for the Democratic courtier class, the 2016 election is pretty much proof any money given to them would be better served being lit on fire or donated to charity where you can get a tax write off.

      Reply
  17. sid_finster

    Re: Newsweek article.

    Isn’t it funny that one of the experts quoted in the article is Dr. Theodore Postol? When he was debunking the ZOMG! Assad chemical weapons evil ZOMG! nonsense the MSM studiously ignored him because the DC/Deep State consensus was for war on Syria.

    Only a few months later, Dr. Postol has been miraculously rehabilitated! Probably because the Deep State wants to discredit Trump more than it hungers for this particular war.

    Reply
    1. Synoia

      If Wells Fargo had ripped off a few millionaires, or a billionaire or two, the senior management would be in jail now.

      Reply
  18. Synoia

    Trump says he’s considering military response to Venezuela

    When the only tool you have is a hammer….

    and there is a hidden agenda…..

    Reply
    1. WobblyTelomeres

      And when the hidden agenda is hiding IN YOUR BRAIN and you look about for a tool and the only tool you can find is a HAMMER then you do what you have to do to get the agenda out!

      And that, gentle readers, is how Trump came up with his response to [name a subject].

      Reply
  19. Tom_Doak

    The Counterpunch article on the Clintons, Trump and White Backlash made a point I hadn’t considered before.

    I visited South Africa 25 years ago, just as the transition to black government was being made, so I got to hear a lot of justification for apartheid by the whites as being economically necessary: it wasn’t possible for 10% of the population to provide good education and health care to all, so naturally they provided it to themselves first, with a bit of meritocracy for the best of the rest.

    There’s a parallel there with the party that keeps telling us why we can’t have nice things.

    Reply
    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Bill after all is a Southern Democrat who pushed the idea Southern and pro-business Democrats were necessary compromises needed to win elections. Obviously, this has not worked out.

      http://www.politico.com/story/2010/01/book-obama-biden-clashed-in-08-031302

      Scroll down to the bit about what Bill Clinton told Ted Kennedy about what guys like Obama use to do. Of course, Kennedy as an Irish Catholic in Boston at least remembers a time when he wasn’t “white,” even with his money.

      I do wonder what the effects on the psyche of people who work for the Clintons are given these kinds of events.

      Reply
  20. flora

    re: We can stop hacking and trolls, but it would ruin the internet

    ‘ “It’s vulnerable to capture by governments who are likely to want it run in a way that solves political, not technical, problems.” ‘

    transforming the internet into an arm of the political machine. not exactly network neutrality.

    Thanks for this link.

    Reply
    1. c_heale

      The thing I don’t understand about this article is that phones (the IMEI number and it is illegal to change this, at least in some circumstances) and computers (the MAC address, this can be spoofed, but most people won’t do this) already have ‘handles’ which identify a particular piece of equipment, and these weren’t mentioned by the author.

      Reply
      1. flora

        Yes, mac and imei exist and uniquely identify a digital device (assuming no spoofing).

        The article’s described change is 1. a government assumption that a device will only be used by one person, and 2. goverments will keep a censorship list of “approved persons.” The problem doesn’t come from identifying a device (which is already done), but the further step of restricting what information/data that device may access and display based both on who owns it and what a govt censor determines that individual should be allowed to see. Government censorship.

        Determination of who would be allowed to access data (articles, social media posts, websites, general informations) would be given to government censors, and not remain the sole domain of websites or social media sites (who might simply require paid subscription or login credentials) for example. That’s why China loves this idea.

        In the West, if a unique device presents correct credentials to a website for data the data is transmitted. No govt censor middleman checks a govt database of approved persons to ok the transmission. If this step were implemented, think think “The No Fly List” on steroids for your computer work.

        Reply
        1. flora

          edit: 2. should read “govt could keep a censorship list”.
          A new possibility would exist for internet censorship lists created based on the identity of the individual making the query. But a possibility is not a certainty. still…

          Reply
  21. Altandmain

    How corporates co-opted the art of mindfulness to make us bear the unbearable

    https://theconversation.com/how-corporates-co-opted-the-art-of-mindfulness-to-make-us-bear-the-unbearable-47768

    I think the title is a typo, but the article raises a point. This mindfulness is a coverup for class warfare.

    Bernie Sanders, the socialist revival and the unexpected upsurge of millennial Marxism

    https://www.salon.com/2017/08/12/bernie-sanders-the-socialist-revival-and-the-unexpected-upsurge-of-millennial-marxism/

    Democratic Party Civil War
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/centrist-democrats-begin-pushing-back-against-bernie-sanders-liberal-wing/2017/08/10/6e1ea684-7d19-11e7-83c7-5bd5460f0d7e_story.html

    It’s a fight for the party.

    Reply
    1. montanamaven

      There is an article in this weekend’s WSJ on a new book due out Tuesday called “The Liberal Crack-Up” by Mark Lilla. You need a subscription, but here are 2 paragraphs I found the most interesting:

      As a teacher, I am increasingly struck by a difference between my conservative and progressive students. Contrary to the stereotype, the conservatives are far more likely to connect their engagements to a set of political ideas and principles. Young people on the left are much more inclined to say that they are engaged in politics as an X, concerned about other Xs and those issues touching on X-ness. And they are less and less comfortable with debate.

      Over the past decade a new, and very revealing, locution has drifted from our universities into the media mainstream: Speaking as an X…This is not an anodyne phrase. It sets up a wall against any questions that come from a non-X perspective. Classroom conversations that once might have begun, I think A, and here is my argument, now take the form, Speaking as an X, I am offended that you claim B. What replaces argument, then, are taboos against unfamiliar ideas and contrary opinions.

      Prof Lilla’s conclusion:

      The politics of identity has done nothing but strengthen the grip of the American right on our institutions. It is the gift that keeps on taking. Now is the time for liberals to do an immediate about-face and return to articulating their core principles of solidarity and equal protection for all. Never has the country needed it more.

      Not sure that the new group “New Democracy” profiled in the WaPo article you linked are interested in exploring the concept of “solidarity”. I mean they don’t even sound like they want to find common ground with the Sanders wing.

      Reply
      1. sid_finster

        That’s old history. Academic institutions are dominated by liberals, and tight reasoning and careful attribution of facts isn’t all that necessary when what you write or say accords with the dominant narrative, whatever that narrative happens to be at the time.

        Similarly, anyone writing or speaking in opposition to the dominant narrative had better have their ducks in a row.

        Reply
  22. epynonymous

    RE: beaver pelts

    The beaver pelt wasn’t just a fashion in Europe.

    It was a fad in China. A new animal… etc.

    The Morgan family ran the first trade mission to China from America. ( the Jesuits were already there)… his first act was to feign ignorance and refuse to pay the customary bribes.

    I respect the move as an opening of new negotiations, personally.

    Beaver pelts were about the only commodity that could not be had in the glory of old China.

    For more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GdbzRo-EBek

    This podcast, not this broadcast. This one’s on the history of the opium wars.

    *correction* last Sunday I claimed the Parker family backed the British during the Revolutionary War. They weren’t. They fired the shot heard around the world in Concord. (courtesy the men of Billerica.) Pardon me.

    In the civil war their favoured son captured Jefferson Davis, and fought the fake news that he was dressed as a woman trying to escape the southern capitol.

    Excuse me, I wrote angry.

    Reply
  23. Oregoncharles

    From the article on sex and babies:

    “In other words, if you follow this mainstream or ‘Darwinian’ logic, there must be genes that underpin mating behaviours, which in turn cause animals (including the human animal) to be successful in reproducing, and thus those genes (and their associated behaviours) are perpetuated in populations. If that’s how simply things actually happen in nature, there will be genes ‘for’ mate preference, genes ‘for’ pair-bonding, genes ‘for’ polygamy and so on.”

    This ignores two crucial realities. The first is culture, which has its own medium of transmission and evolves distinct from (but, of course, ultimately dependent on) biological evolution. Consequently, there don’t have to be genes for most of those traits; there can be memes, instead. (Mate preference is a partial exception.)

    It also ignores that human sexuality is unique; only bonobos are similar, and they’re our nearest relatives. (There are hints dolphins are similar, but I’ve never seen anything decisive on the point.) Essentially, human evolution transferred male-type sexuality to females. (Obviously, it works a bit differently in the different setting, but that’s the essence. Women are just lucky they didn’t get a prostate in the bargain.) Much of culture and social structure flows from that, because most human societies are built around sex and reproduction – that is, families. Ours is a major departure, yet again, and may be rather unstable because we’re bucking not only nature but human nature.

    Reply
  24. kareninca

    There is a big issue re self-driving cars that I haven’t seen discussed; maybe I have just missed the discussions. Don’t police departments get a huge portion of their income from traffic tickets and from seizing the cars of people whom they have accused (but not convicted) of crimes? If self-driving cars become common, there will be far fewer people to ticket, since the cars will presumably not speed, and passengers can be drunk without it being a problem – no more $5,000 DUI fines for the police to take in. And if the cars being ridden are not owned by (for instance) accused drug dealers, seizing the car will require going up against the car-owning company, rather than a powerless individual. If police departments lose large amounts of their funding, things could get interesting.

    Reply
    1. Altandmain

      My guess is that in the medium term, it would be a tax on the poor, who cannot afford the self driving costs. It will be in luxury cars first then normal cars and only years later filter out to used cars.

      Knowing the local governments though… I bet there will be other fines. Oh and any cars have bugs. Any computer bugs could get you in for a fine too.

      Reply
      1. kareninca

        I’m not seeing it working that way. I don’t think it will be first rich, then middle class, then poor, or if it is, it will reach the poor really, really quickly. That is because then the poor could be charged per car use, and they would never be able to build up any equity. Like house rentals, or rent-to-own furniture. Rich people will have trophy self-driving cars that they actually own, but they will be a small part of the market. The real money will be in sucking dry people who will pay per ride. Also I think that it all will happen suddenly, since having both self-driving and regular cars on the road at the same time probably won’t work. Rich people really won’t want poor people to be driving regular cars around; they will want poor people’s cars to be controlled and monitored.

        I don’t see fines being the answer for local revenue, because I think people will not generally own the self-driving cars. Big companies will own them; most people will pay per use. I’ll admit that it would be wonderful for my parents in a few years time; despite the problems with all of this I hope it happens; they could then live where they want to, rather than being stuck moving to Silicon Valley and living in my junk room when they can’t drive.

        Reply
        1. Alex Morfesis

          100 million traffic stops by law enforcement reviewed by stanford study…open policing project…

          blacks twice as likely to be “searched” when pulled over…

          but…

          10% of whites searched had contraband while only 5% of blacks had contraband if my memory serves me…

          Just goes ta show…

          Reply
  25. kareninca

    The Slate article re workers refusing to work for miserable wages was good, but even better are the innumerable WSJ articles about the purported shortage of workers. It seems that almost every week the WSJ runs another one of those articles, bemoaning the situation of employers who can’t hire enough help. I won’t bother linking one, since they’re hard to access (I subscribe), and anyway they are all the same. What is wonderful about them are the comment sections. Perhaps you think that WSJ commenters would empathize with the business owners. They do NOT. There will be a thousand comments, and almost without exception (I don’t read them all, but I read a lot) the commenters say that the answer is for businesses to offer better wages, and that then there will be no shortage of workers, because then people will actually be able to afford to move to e.g. Maine for the season to work.

    So, these are “conservative” commenters, but they very much believe that higher wages are the answer to a lack of ready workers. You can tell that the WSJ hates this; they keep trying (and failing) to get their readers to feel sorry for businesses that want to pay $11/hour for cleaners while charging $1,800/night for a high season hotel room. And yes, the WSJ commenters say that they’re okay with paying more for e.g. produce, if it means that the better wages cause the workers to not need as much government assistance.

    Reply
  26. Oregoncharles

    “CIA Director says WikiLeaks is a ‘hostile intelligence service’ McClatchy”
    He’s absolutely right. So is the rest of the press.

    Reply
    1. subgenius

      Remind me again about the levels of involvement in extrajudicial assassinations, drug running, renditions, money laundering, etc, of the CIA and WikiLeaks…

      Reply
      1. Oregoncharles

        A big difference, there. Of course, technically those aren’t “intelligence,” nor are they generally very intelligent.

        Reply
  27. nothing but the truth

    CIA Director says WikiLeaks is a ‘hostile intelligence service’

    Is AIPAC registered as a foreign agent?

    Reply
            1. JBird

              If one looks hard (and it does look like some are dancing) at the bottom of screen there are 1-2 footless shoes flying. That is a excellent shot. The license plate is clear and sharp.

              Reply
              1. bob

                The photo linked doesn’t appear to be the original. There are other, less cropped shots that show pavement below the shoes.

                There’s a good chance that those shoes belonged to the dead person.

                Reply
                1. Yves Smith Post author

                  The two guys who are prominent in the photo, the black guy splayed over the trunk and the white guy in the air with his head bent way back against the roof of the car look like they both could have had their spines broken. Horrible.

                  Reply
                  1. bob

                    Also-

                    The black guy isn’t on the trunk, he’s a few feet behind and after it, at least. It could be 6-10 feet.

                    there’s a redheaded person on the bottom left…ouch.

                    The real action is taking place above the head of the blurry person in the foreground. Legs. And just above them…two pairs of glasses, hanging there.

                    The guy on the left, with the light blue shirt could have just returned to vertical.

                    Reply
  28. Plenue

    >Superintelligence: The Idea That Eats Smart People IdleWords

    “Premise 4: Plenty of Room at the Top

    The fourth premise is that there’s still plenty of room for computers to get smaller and faster.

    If you watched the Apple event last night [where Apple introduced its 2016 laptops], you may be forgiven for thinking that Moore’s Law is slowing down. But this premise just requires that you believe smaller and faster hardware to be possible in principle, down to several more orders of magnitude.

    We know from theory that the physical limits to computation are high. So we could keep doubling for decades more before we hit some kind of fundamental physical limit, rather than an economic or political limit to Moore’s Law.”

    A lot of this article goes over my head, but I can tell you that this premise is nonsense. The theoretical limits on computation may be far larger than anything we’ve yet achieved, which is nice and all, but Moore’s Law has in fact essentially run out for silicon. The latest Intel and AMD CPUs are 14nm. 10nm is definite, then probably 7nm, and finally maybe 5nm by 2020. After that all bets are off. 4, 3, 2, and even 1nm have all been done in labs, but at those scales you have to start doing lots of error checking to make sure the hardware is actually doing what you want it to do.

    Also performance is not increasing in line with the increase in transistor count. It hasn’t been for years. Moore’s Law is stereotypically thought to mean processing doubles every 18 months. It actually just means the number of transistors doubles. These days the actual increase in performance between processor generations is consistently less than 10%.

    AMD just released their newest, long anticipated Zen architecture processors a few months ago. Their performance is not superior to Intel’s offerings, it’s merely comparable (though at lower prices). AMD’s new high-end model is called the Threadripper, and it’s a clunky, brute force approach to increasing the processing power: make the die physically larger and cram 16 processor cores inside. I see this as effectively the end of Moore’s Law. Now the focus will shift much more towards clever programming to utilize many cores and threads, rather than increasing transistor density.

    Reply
    1. coleslaw

      There is an economic aspect to this story as well. A large number of jobs in the US are dedicated towards shrinking transistor sizes for computer processors. The end of Moore’s Law will mean a large loss of well paying white and blue collar jobs.

      Reply
  29. megamike

    As usual it is more complicated
    This Vast Southern Empire: Slaveholders at the Helm of American Foreign Policy
    When the United States emerged as a world power in the years before the Civil War, the men who presided over the nation’s triumphant territorial and economic expansion were largely southern slaveholders. As presidents, cabinet officers, and diplomats, slaveholding leaders controlled the main levers of foreign policy inside an increasingly powerful American state. This Vast Southern Empire explores the international vision and strategic operations of these southerners at the commanding heights of American politics.

    For proslavery leaders like John C. Calhoun and Jefferson Davis, the nineteenth-century world was torn between two hostile forces: a rising movement against bondage, and an Atlantic plantation system that was larger and more productive than ever before. In this great struggle, southern statesmen saw the United States as slavery’s most powerful champion. Overcoming traditional qualms about a strong central government, slaveholding leaders harnessed the power of the state to defend slavery abroad. During the antebellum years, they worked energetically to modernize the U.S. military, while steering American diplomacy to protect slavery in Brazil, Cuba, and the Republic of Texas.

    As Matthew Karp demonstrates, these leaders were nationalists, not separatists. Their “vast southern empire” was not an independent South but the entire United States, and only the election of Abraham Lincoln broke their grip on national power. Fortified by years at the helm of U.S. foreign affairs, slaveholding elites formed their own Confederacy―not only as a desperate effort to preserve their property but as a confident bid to shape the future of the Atlantic world.
    https://www.amazon.com/This-Vast-Southern-Empire-Slaveholders/dp/0674737253/ref=sr_1_fkmr1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1502591508&sr=8-1-fkmr1&keywords=This+Vast+Southern+Empire+epub

    Reply
  30. flora

    Yesterday, Yves’ long post on the start of the economic meltdown in 2007 reminded me how much has and has not changed. I’ve a hunch that so much of what’s occurring now is a direct result of failure by the govt to fix the problems then; to clean up the banks; and to de-financialize the govt.

    The last 10 years feels like a long episode of “it isn’t the crime that’s the problem, it’s the coverup.” – where the crime is banksters wrecking the US and world economy. The govt still seems to be covering up for them (with attendant pathologies) while the real economy does worse and worse.

    From a 2009 essay in The Atlantic by Simon Johnson:

    “at the outset of the [emerging-market govt’s financial]crisis, the oligarchs are usually among the first to get extra help from the government, such as preferential access to foreign currency, or maybe a nice tax break, or—here’s a classic Kremlin bailout technique—the assumption of private debt obligations by the government. Under duress, generosity toward old friends takes many innovative forms. Meanwhile, needing to squeeze someone, most emerging-market governments look first to ordinary working folk—at least until the riots grow too large.

    “But there’s a deeper and more disturbing similarity: elite business interests—financiers, in the case of the U.S.—played a central role in creating the crisis, making ever-larger gambles, with the implicit backing of the government, until the inevitable collapse. More alarming, they are now using their influence to prevent precisely the sorts of reforms that are needed, and fast, to pull the economy out of its nosedive. The government seems helpless, or unwilling, to act against them.

    “Even leaving aside fairness to taxpayers, the government’s velvet-glove approach with the banks is deeply troubling, for one simple reason: it is inadequate to change the behavior of a financial sector accustomed to doing business on its own terms, at a time when that behavior must change. As an unnamed senior bank official said to The New York Times last fall, “It doesn’t matter how much Hank Paulson gives us, no one is going to lend a nickel until the economy turns.” But there’s the rub: the economy can’t recover until the banks are healthy and willing to lend. ….”

    https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2009/05/the-quiet-coup/307364/

    That was written 8 years ago. The very large problems still aren’t addressed. imo.

    Reply
  31. Lambert Strether

    Re Charlottesville:

    A neo-Nazi plowed his car into protesters who had gathered to oppose a white supremacist rally in a Virginia college town on Saturday, killing a 32-year-old woman and injuring at least 19 others.

    The lone victim was identified as Heather Heyer, a paralegal from nearby Greene County whose last Facebook message read, “If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention.”

    And to answer the obvious question, from Heyer’s Facebook page:

    Reply
    1. allan

      Who radicalized the driver? As is usually the case in situations like this,
      failure has a thousand fathers but success is an orphan.
      The recent Frontline documentary on the no-fingerprints radicalization of Timothy McVeigh was instructive, although the strategy goes back decades, if not centuries.
      Create a poisonous atmosphere, complete with incendiary rhetoric, dehumanization of the opponents and increasingly specific suggested tactics, light a match,
      and wait for some stupid or disturbed individual to blow up.

      In the case of Charlottesville, there is a long line of radicalizers who will of course deny it.

      Feb. – March, 2009: Rep. Pete Sessions, R-CSA and chair of the NRCC:

      Insurgency, we understand perhaps a little bit more because of the Taliban. And that is that they went about systematically understanding how to disrupt and change a person’s entire processes. And these Taliban — [is] an example of how you go about to change a person from their messaging to their operations to their frontline message. …

      Which, as the outrage grew, he repeated over multiple interviews. Because black president.

      Oct. 2016: tenured UTenn law professor, Instapundit blogger and USA Today columnist Glenn Reynolds, prescribing on Twitter what to do with protesters in Charlotte, NC:

      Run them down.

      Feb., 2017: Santa Fe(!), NM, police union president Troy Baker puts a poster online:

      All Lives Splatter. Nobody Cares About Your Protest. Moral of the Story … Stay Off The Road!!

      With a helpful illustration.

      Links easily found.

      Reply
      1. Lambert Strether

        It was late, and I didn’t provide enough context to elicit what I would have regarded as an on-point response.

        Liberal Democrats have gone to a good deal of trouble to paint the (so-called) alt-left and the (so-called) alt-right as equivalents. That Heyer was a Sanders supporter gives the lie to this pernicious smear.

        Reply
        1. JBird

          I would add that liberal Democrats have also done the same with poor whites. Smearing everyone who counters their neo-liberal messaging. Then again the “conservative” Republicans have done the same which included any members of their party who did not follow the Party’s line fully. The RINO accusations (Republican In Name Only) They started that at least15 years ago, but now the Democrats are doing it too.

          What matters to the Parties is not if you are conservative or liberal, but whether you are a good little drone-minion.

          Reply

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